• Citadel, which has been in Chicago since its inception, is moving to Miami.
  • Citadel founder Ken Griffin has already moved to the sunshine state.
  • The moves comes after Griffin has made complaints about safety in Chicago. 

Billionaire Ken Griffin's Citadel is moving to the sunshine state. 

In a memo to employees on Thursday, Griffin said he was moving $51 billion hedge fund Citadel and market maker Citadel Securities headquarters to Miami, Florida, from its headquarters in Chicago, where it's been based since 1990. 

"Many of our Chicago teams have asked to relocate to Miami, New York, and our other offices around the world" over the past year, Griffin said in a letter to employees. Griffin himself has moved to Miami with his family, he said. 

According to Citadel spokesman Zia Ahmed, some Citadel Securities employees have already moved to temporary offices in Miami's Southeast Financial Center, and hedge fund Citadel teams are set to follow. Citadel has more than 1,000 employees based in Illinois across its two businesses. The firm said it expects a few hundred people to be based in Miami in the next year.

Over the past year, Griffin has been outspoken about his colleagues' safety in the Windy City. 

"It's becoming ever more difficult to have this as our global headquarters, a city which has so much violence," he said last October at the Economic Club of Chicago.  "I mean Chicago's like Afghanistan on a good day and that's a problem."  

When asked how long he planned to stay in Chicago, Griffin said at the time: "It's probably measured in years not decades if we don't change course."

While not mentioned in Griffin's note to employees, Ahmed cited crime as another reason for the move. Over the last few years there had been an attempted carjacking of Griffin's car, a stabbing of a Citadel employee while walking to work, shoplifting in the neighborhoods where Citadel employees live, shootings near the homes of some employees, and mass shooting, riots, and looting near Griffin's home in River North.

Citadel has been no stranger to Florida. The firm made headlines in April 2020 when it set up a "bubble" at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach, Florida, for its Citadel Securities trading floor because of the fallout of COVID-19. It booked the resort for the last two summer intern classes, too. 

This year, Citadel Securities interns stayed at the Palm Beach Four Seasons, and interns of the $47 billion hedge-fund manager stayed at the Four Seasons in Fort Lauderdale for the first week of the summer internship program. 

A slew of other financial firms have built a presence in Miami including Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Thoma Bravo, and Elliot Management. Other hedge funds like D1 Capital Partners and Melvin Capital Management also have locations in Florida. 

Citadel is building a new office tower in Miami's finance hub of Brickell, which will take several years to complete. The company also plans to open its 425 Park Avenue location in New York City later this summer. 

"With our new office opening at 425 Park Avenue, our expansion at 350 Park Avenue and our new headquarters opening on Brickell Bay, in the heart of Miami's booming financial district, we are in a strong position to support these transitions," Griffin said in his letter. 

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