Kenneth C. Griffin
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Citadel
2019 Recipient of the Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award
Ken Griffin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel, which is one of the most respected and successful investment firms in the world. Ken got his start trading convertible bonds from his Harvard dorm room and founded Citadel in 1990, shortly after graduating. Today, Citadel manages over $32 billion in capital for its partners, which include pension funds, endowments, foundations, hospitals, governments, sovereign wealth funds, and private individuals.
In 2002, Ken founded Citadel Securities. Citadel Securities is a leading global market maker, delivering a broad array of fixed income and equity products to banks, broker-dealers, government agencies, corporations, insurers, and sovereign wealth funds around the world. Through innovation and efficiency, the firm provides liquidity in more than 35 countries with the goal of driving price discovery and making markets more competitive, open, and transparent.
Ken is a passionate philanthropist, supporting educational and cultural causes that drive community engagement and improvement. He has given over $900 million to numerous organizations including the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital, The Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Chicago Park District, the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Museum of Science and Industry.
As a leader within the Chicago community, Ken actively participates in civic and cultural institutions, serving on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Board of Trustees for the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art and The University of Chicago. He is also a member of numerous organizations, including G100, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Helena Group, and the Advisory Board of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum.
Ken earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and is a proud supporter of his alma mater. In 2014, he donated $150 million to support need-based financial aid at Harvard, the largest gift in school history at the time. In 2017, he gave $125 million to the University of Chicago to support the Department of Economics.
"Ken Griffin is a true pioneer in the field of investment management. His groundbreaking achievements have shaped the way we view investing today, and his significant contributions to economic research and philanthropy
will continue to have an impact on our future."
- Leo Melamed, Chairman Emeritus, CME Group
The CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award is the signature program of the CME Group Center for Innovation. The award honors an individual or group of individuals whose innovative ideas, products or services have created significant change to markets commerce or trade. The award strives to celebrate innovation in action — not only the creative idea, but also the impact that practical application of the idea has made on improving the economic well-being of individuals, an industry or a nation.
CME Group named this award to honor Leo Melamed for his revolutionary achievements in introducing financial futures instruments to futures markets in 1972, and Fred Arditti, whose achievements in the 1980s developing CME's eurodollar interest rate and weather futures significantly advanced the management of risk in the futures industry. These innovations were instrumental in helping CME Group become the world’s leading derivatives marketplace.
Leo Melamed is recognized as the founder of financial futures. As Chairman of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), he led the exchange's launch of currency futures with the creation of the International Monetary Market (IMM) in 1972—the first futures market for financial instruments. The introduction of financial futures paved the way for CME's launch of futures contracts on U.S. Treasury Bills, Eurodollars, and stock indexes in the decade that followed. In 1986, Melamed conceptualized CME’s Globex system, the first electronic trading platform for futures and options, and was instrumental in its launch in 1992. Currently Chairman Emeritus of CME Group and Chairman of Strategic Steering, Melamed continues his leadership role to help CME Group advance the world economy.
Fred Arditti developed futures contracts that transformed how businesses and individuals manage risk. Most notably, in 1981 he architected CME Eurodollar futures, the world's most actively traded futures contract today. Later, he was instrumental in strengthening in light of intensive competition in the new century from domestic and international markets. It was during this time that he originated weather futures. After his time at CME, he taught courses in futures and options while serving as a professor of finance at DePaul University in Chicago, as chairman of the University of Florida's Economics Department, and as a visiting professor at several institutions. His book “Derivatives” is the definitive textbook on the subject.
The CME Group Competitive Markets Advisory Council (CMAC), a council of outside advisors originally organized by Nobel Laureates Myron Scholes and Gary Becker in partnership with Leo Melamed in 2004, is responsible for selecting each year's award recipient. John Gould, the Steven G. Rothmeier Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, serves as the council's chairman. Members include David D. Hale, International Economist and Founder, Hale Global Advisors, LLC; Andrew Lo, Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance and Director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering, MIT; Michael H. Moskow, Vice Chairman and Senior Fellow for the Global Economy, Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Robert J. Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University
In 2013, the CMAC unanimously recommended that the award be renamed from the CME Group Fred Arditti Innovation Award to the CME Group Melamed-Arditti Innovation Awardin recognition of Leo Melamed's revolutionary innovation of introducing futures in financial instruments in 1972. Melamed's contributions enabled the creation of effective and efficient global risk management tools through futures markets. These innovations have been copied by financial centers around the world.