Citadel Founder Personality Piece

Fun, content-free, personality piece on Citadel's founder in Dealbook From Dealbook

IN 1988, a very young-looking 19-year-old Harvard student sneaked past the receptionist at the Boston office of Merrill Lynch, found the manager in charge of convertible bonds and struck up a conversation about the technical aspects of valuing those bonds.

A few weeks and some discussions later, the student, Kenneth C. Griffin, asked Terrence J. O'Connor, the convertibles expert, to open an institutional trading account with $100,000 he had collected from his grandmother and his dentist, among others. At the time, the size of the average institutional account was $100 million.

"My boss thought I was crazy," recalled Mr. O'Connor, who nevertheless persuaded his boss to let him open the account.

That gamble doesn't look so crazy today.

Mr. Griffin is the chief executive of Citadel Investment Group, one of the most powerful and fastest-growing companies in the hedge fund business, with more than $13.5 billion of capital.

Posted on April 5, 2007 and filed under Finance.