Illinois will soon have a new richest person. That’s because the current one, Ken Griffin, is moving both his family and the headquarters of his hedge fund business to Miami.
As WBEZ reported, Griffin made this announcement yesterday in a memo sent to his employees. According to the memo, Griffin will move the headquarters of his Citadel hedge fund and his trading firm, Citadel Securities, to Miami.
Griffin referred to Miami as a “vibrant, growing metropolis that embodies the American Dream.”
More than 1,000 employees work at Griffin’s Chicago companies. It’s not clear how many of these workers will remain in the city after Citadel’s headquarters set up shop in Miami. The move of the two companies is expected to take several years.
Why the move? Griffin has been vocal about rising crime rates in downtown Chicago. He’s also been critical about high taxes in Illinois. During a speech at the Economic Club of Chicago last year, Griffin told audience members that he was considering moving Citadel because of Chicago’s crime rate.
This caps a tough month for Illinois. Boeing and Caterpillar earlier this month announced that they would be moving their offices from Illinois.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office issued a statement saying that despite these headline-grabbing moves, Illinois still leads the nation in corporate relocations. Pritzker’s office pointed to Kellogg, which earlier this week announced that it is moving its largest headquarters to the state.
“Countless companies are choosing Illinois as their home, as we continue to lead the nation in corporate relocations and had a record number of business start-ups in the past year,” Pritzker said in a statement. “We will continue to welcome those businesses – including Kellogg, which just this week announced it is moving its largest headquarters to Illinois – and support emerging industries that are already creating good jobs and investing billions in Illinois, like data centers, electric vehicles and quantum computing.”
Griffin has long been a player in Illinois politics and has put $50 million into the campaign of Republican candidate gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin.
Irvin released his own statement after Griffin made his announcement: “JB Pritzker is either in complete denial or simply refuses to acknowledge what everyone sees which is that his high-tax, pro-criminal administration is literally driving jobs and businesses out of state.”