Ken Griffin’s Ambitions Go Beyond His Firm’s Expansion in Miami

Estimated read time 5 min read

Happy Friday! Dollar Tree is looking a lot more like Dollar Forest as the budget chain is raising its price ceiling again, this time to $7.

But first, we’re staying in Miami.

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The big story

Florida migration

A Miami inspired photo collage

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Ken Griffin is used to making big bets as the founder of two of the most powerful firms on Wall Street, but one of his most ambitious wagers took place outside the markets.

Nearly two years ago the billionaire uprooted his hedge fund, Citadel, and market maker, Citadel Securities, from their Chicago headquarters to Miami.

South Florida always held a financial presence, and more so during the pandemic, but it’s far from a major hub like New York or London. A key industry fueling Miami’s glow-up — crypto — was also imploding at the time of Griffin’s announcement in June 2022.

But nearly two years later, Griffin’s empire is thriving in the Sunshine State, and there are plans to build a $1 billion headquarters tower. Employees at Citadel and Citadel Securities spoke to Business Insider’s Emmalyse Brownstein about life in the new HQ.

Beyond the obvious benefits the city has — like the weather — employees spoke to Emmalyse about the improvements they’ve seen to their lifestyles and adjusting to the city.

The Wall Street bull wearing sunglasses, standing next to a suitcase.

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Griffin’s ambitions go beyond his firm’s expansion in Miami.

The Florida native predicted Miami could eventually eclipse New York as the country’s financial hub.

That’s no easy task, even for someone with Griffin’s considerable wealth and influence.

A similar switch was suggested for the startup community, which has long viewed the Bay Area as ground zero for young, innovative companies. Plenty deemed San Francisco dead a few years ago.

But the region has resurrected itself and its critics are returning as companies focused on the hottest tech — generative AI — have flocked to the area.

Meanwhile, cities like Austin that were viewed as a landing spot for startups exiting the Bay Area have failed to fully pan out.

Miami hasn’t materialized into the tech hub it was once pitched as becoming, either. And not all of Florida’s pandemic transplants have been happy, with some saying the overcrowding and expenses led them to regret their move.

But Griffin is committed to the region. He’s donated tens of millions of dollars to local universities and plans to eventually build the most expensive home on Earth there, according to the New York Post.

And when the world’s most successful hedge fund plants its flag squarely in a city, people tend to notice.

3 things in markets

A shiba inu jumping after a tennis ball.

Anita Kot/Getty Images

  1. Tokens like “dogwifhat” and “Baby Doge Coin” are surging. So-called memecoins are climbing off the back of bitcoin hitting record highs. Dogecoin was among the tokens spiking, with Elon Musk saying it could eventually be used to buy Teslas.

  2. Stocks’ kryptonite? Bond yields. Concentration risk in the market shouldn’t spook investors as much as a potential surge in bond yields, according to Ned Davis Research. Another spike in government bond yields like the market saw last October could be challenging for all stocks.

  3. Fisker’s stock plummeted after a report said the EV maker is considering bankruptcy. Shares tumbled 55% after The Wall Street Journal reported that Fisker had hired restructuring advisors to assist with a possible bankruptcy filing. Its losses dragged down other EV stocks including Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid.

3 things in tech

Photo Illustration of Altman and Musk.

Patrick Pleul, Andrew Cabellero Reynolds/Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez/BI

  1. Elon Musk is winning the nastiest battle in tech. PR experts told BI that the outspoken mega-entrepreneur has the upper hand against OpenAI founder Sam Altman in the court of public opinion right now. Going up against the Tesla CEO in a feud is like “stepping into the ring with the Muhammad Ali of the tech world,” one crisis PR exec said.

  2. Google employees learned they’re getting smaller pay bumps this year. Once a year, following performance reviews, employees learn how their packages should increase over the next year. This month, some employees actually saw a reduction in their overall pay.

  3. Everyone wants to buy TikTok. Even though its US operations aren’t for sale (its CEO is still urging users to fight against a ban), people are still talking about buying it — including former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. At one point, Elon Musk would have seemed like the perfect owner, BI’s Peter Kafka writes.

3 things in business

People walking in a city.

Ezra Bailey

  1. The Big Stay is a big win. But it may be short-lived. The phenomenon, in which fewer employees are quitting their jobs compared to two years ago, has positive implications for the economy. Still, its benefits may be fleeting, as employees could just be biding their time.

  2. Experts expect these 13 private equity firms will invest in advertising and marketing companies. After a tepid year for mergers and acquisitions in 2023, deals are starting to pick up. BI identified the most active PE firms in the space, from Blackstone to KKR.

  3. BeReal faces an uncertain future. Growth has stalled at the French social media app, three people familiar with the company’s operations told BI. Leaders of BeReal are mulling an uncertain Series C funding round or acquisition, they said.

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The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. George Glover, reporter, in London.