Citadel Flagships Crest High-Water Marks

Jan 23 2012 | 1:33pm ET

For more than three years, Citadel Investment Group hasn't earned a nickel in performance fees on its flagship hedge funds. Now, it will have that opportunity.

The Kensington and Wellington funds have cleared their high-water marks, Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin told the firm's employees. The funds had more than half their value in 2008, but steadily rebuilt their performances and reputations over the past three years, including last year, when the two funds returned more than 20% as the average hedge fund lost about 5%.

In the Friday letter to employees, Griffin wrote, "I am pleased to report that as of Jan. 17, 2012, Citadel's Kensington and Wellington funds crossed their respective high-water marks. Our solid recovery from the financial crisis of 2008 is an achievement in which we should all take great pride."

And none more so than Griffin himself.

"First, I am proud of how we stood together. In our darkest hour, we chose to fight our way out of a very difficult situation," Griffin wrote. "Second, I am proud of what we have accomplished. We did exactly what we said we would do, and we did it the right way. Day after day, decision after decision, we accomplished what needed to be done. Third, I am proud of how we transformed our business. The world changed dramatically in 2008, and we adapted our capabilities and resources to successfully compete in this new environment."

The parade of gratitude continued in a letter to investors, sent the same day.

"I am often asked what makes Citadel different from other investment firms," Griffin wrote. "My answer is always the same: It is our people."

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