One investment banker who has done very well, favors regulation for the industry. Kenneth Griffin, one of the highest earning hedge fund managers in America, has advocated the idea that regulations on the industry keep up with technology and the culture.
Griffin is founder and CEO of a global investment company called Citadel, which has grown into one of the worlds largest hedge fund investment companies. He has been listed on Forbes 400, a listing of the most successful businessmen. He had an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion as of May 2015
Griffin has testified several times to various governmental agencies. In one Senate hearing on the role of regulation in equity market structure, he said there was a need for the industry to have regulations catch up with modern business structures an pushed for fairness in the American equity markets.
In 2008, before the recession hit, he criticized Wall Street practices. “As an industry, we have a responsibility to manage risk in a way that is prudent,” he was quoted as saying.
He said some markets are controlled by people just out of business school who don’t have much experience. He said they lack wisdom. He said the industry needed to change its way of thinking and accept reasonable regulation.
“The unwillingness of the Federal Reserve and the S.E.C. to require working capital limits only exacerbates the risk-taking environment because the banks are playing the equivalent of no-limit poker.” he said in a New York Times article in 2008.
He began investing while a student at Harvard. Just after graduation he was given $1 million to invest, and reportedly returned a 70 percent increase in value. He started Citadel in 1990 with $4.6 million. In eight years he had 100 employees and $1 billion in investment capital. According to a Forbes magazine article, the company now manages about $24 Billion.
Citadel struggled, as most companies did, during the 2008 recession, but has recovered to be one of the top hedge funds in the world. Early this year Griffin announced he is considering making the hedge fund public. Hedge funds have not often done well when publicly traded because they have to try to please both shareholders and investors. Still, with its track record in recent years, Forbes believes he might pull it off.
In September of 2014 jumped 14 spots in Forbes list of riches Americans. He went from No. 103 to No. 89. Rankings don’t seem to matter a lot to him, but his net worth has grown by nearly $1 Billion since then.
In March of 2015 his company was named one of the great workplaces in financial services by the Great Places to Work Institute. He was credited with creating a collaborative working environment and offered employees many good perks.
He has also been generous with the money he has made. He gave Harvard $150 million, which at the time was the largest amount the school had ever received. He is credited with donating about $500 million so far.