Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin said Amazon’s decision to pull out of New York City is “heartbreaking,” and the political climate “dramatically” reduced his interest in moving the headquarters of his financial firm to the city, according to a Bloomberg report.
“I’m a bit frustrated by the political winds in the city over the last two months. Amazon opting out of New York is heartbreaking,” Griffin said Thursday on Bloomberg Television. Griffin runs Citadel, a giant financial firm with vast trading operations and a hedge fund unit that manages more than $30 billion.
Griffin told Bloomberg after the broadcast interview that Amazon’s decision has been “a huge backtrack” in the company’s internal planning and the political environment in New York has “dramatically” damped his interest in moving.
“Because when you bring a firm that is such a great user of technology into your city, it’s not just about the success story of Amazon, it’s about the fact that you now have a tailed magnate that creates an entire ecosystem of success stories around it,” he said on the TV interview.
The billionaire investor said he has been debating making New York his primary home and moving Citadel from Chicago after buying a $238 million penthouse overlooking Central Park, the most expensive home ever sold in the U.S.
“I’m actually in New York every single week … we pay the New York investment banks roughly $1 billion a year in revenues. This is my second home in some sense …The apartment presents the possibility that it might be home for me and Citadel could be headquartered in New York one day,” Griffin said.
Amazon reversed its plan to build headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens following mounting opposition. Local and state leaders had voiced significant opposition after New York City and state had offered the company performance-based incentives amounting to nearly $3 billion.