Citadel 3rd major company to leave Illinois in 2 months
Hedge-fund firm Citadel is moving its headquarters to Miami. Citadel CEO Ken Griffin said many employees have asked to move out of Illinois.
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin announced to employees June 23 the firm’s headquarters is leaving Chicago for Miami after 30 years. Griffin, Illinois’ wealthiest resident, is picking Florida for its better corporate environment.
Citadel will retain its Chicago office and employees, but many will transition out of Illinois in the next year. Griffin has moved, and said he didn’t make the business decision on his own: His employees asked to work elsewhere.
“Chicago will continue to be important to the future of Citadel, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois,” Griffin wrote. “Over the past year, however, many of our Chicago teams have asked to relocate to Miami, New York and our other offices around the world.”
While he has multiple issues with how Illinois treats its corporate citizens, he also in April said he was bothered by Chicago’s inability to control crime.
“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” Griffin said. “I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”
CNBC ranks Illinois as the third-least friendly state to businesses. Among Illinois and its neighbors, only Illinois dropped in the Tax Foundation’s Business Tax Climate rankings since 2018. Illinois’ business climate dropped seven places, to 36th from 29th in four years.
Three Fortune 500 companies leaving the state in two months is a dismal sign for jobs growth. Only lawmakers can make Illinois’ business climate more competitive to attract new residents. Companies follow the talent wherever it goes, and it’s leaving Illinois: a record 114,000 residents lost in 2021 alone.
Jobs and house values – both tied to Illinois’ nation-leading state and local tax burden – are prompting people to leave. Rather than fix those issues, state leaders handed Illinoisans a proposal to give public worker unions the protection of the Illinois Constitution. Amendment 1, masquerading as a “workers rights amendment,” would guarantee a $2,100 property tax hike for the typical Illinois homeowner were voters to approve it Nov. 8.
Higher property taxes for their employees is not what will stop a fourth big business from exiting Illinois.