Monthly Archives: September 2015

Citadel CEO Kenneth Griffin Still Making Strides

Citadel LLC is one of the largest financial institutes in the world. Founded by hedge fund guru and businessman Kenneth Griffin in 1990, the company is worth an estimated $25 billion and handles billion of dollars in global assets. Citadel has weathered a few storms over the years. The company narrowly escaped the 2008 banking failure. While other companies fell, Citadel was able bounce back and become bigger and better. The company has expanded over the years and now has offices in the U.S. United Kingdom and Asia.

Citadel offers a wide variety of products and services including hedge funds, interest rate swaps, equity options and trading. The Chicago-base company has won a number of awards over the years including a ranking in Forbes Top 25 Best Banking Awards, Best Place To Work and another ranking in Forbes as one the most respected hedge fund companies in the world. Citadel has other divisions including Securities and Technology.

Under the leadership of founder Ken Griffin, Citadel has seen a great deal of success. Griffin got his start in the world of investment and finance at a young age. While attending Harvard University in his sophomore year, he was already selling stocks. By the time he graduated, he had earned an estimated $1 million. Griffin wasted no time and quickly opened Citadel in 1990. The company, which was started with donations from friends and clients, made Griffin a millionaire in short order. Within six years of the company’s opening, Griffin had investment capital of about $1 billion.

Griffin is one of the richest hedge funding gurus in the world. He has made the Forbes list in a variety of areas including richest entrepreneur to make $1 billion. He gives generously to a many philanthropic organizations to help underprivileged and poor. He was recently honored for his donation to his alma mater, Harvard, for giving them an endowment of $150 million. The money is to be used to help students who have little to no financial means. The money pays for books, housing, tuition and anything educated-related. The financial aid office was renamed in Griffin’s honor.

Although Griffin has not revealed his political leanings, he has given generously to many political candidates including Bruce Rahmer, Rahm Emanuel, Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney. “I am more interested in their platform than they party itself,” says Griffin. He went on to say he is very interested in helping the “little guy” achieve the same succes as he.

Facts About Skout You Should Know

These days, the number of social networks that a traveler can access so as to connect with other travelers on the road are many. However, one mobile application has used its direct network to create a platform for people who want to interact. Originally created as a travel app for those who want to expand their travel circle, Skout has in the recent months turned itself into a dating one. Since it introduced the travel feature, more than ten million members have since joined. Many have been intrigued by the virtual journeys feature that allows a user to meet another user from a different location.

A big number of the virtual travelers and especially the young ones end up taking real journeys to meet those that they met on the platform. When Skout introduced the travel feature, it intended users to use it in two different ways; to enable users meet and get to know different people from different cities and countries and to enable users know people who can help them help them when they visit a new destination. So far so good, the company has had success with both missions, and it has proved to be a very popular app for young people who want to meet and make new friends from different cities.

Skout has also purchased Fuse, an app for people on the go. Skout’s collaboration with Fuse is meant to give users simpler tools to make social networks that function from the addresses on their tablets or smartphones. Fuse allows users to set up a ‘fuse’ so that all messages posted disappear automatically in less than ten minutes. Users in Fuse are identified by initials from their cell numbers. The app also has social dynamics that are very interesting. To join a group, for instance, one can ask members for permission but once a member, there is defriending. However, users who chose to opt out can easily do so.

Skout has also improved its privacy, and is not accepting bathroom selfie nudes. Popularly known as the official flirting app, it has banned the oversharing of people photos in front of the mirror or even stripped down in a tub full of bubbles. According to Skout’s management, the photos add no credibility to the user’s image or reputation and its precisely the reason they were banned. Skout also wants people to associate it with positive characteristics and features and not just flirting.

The best thing with Skout is the fact that it segregates teens and adults. Each group is placed in its appropriate peer group to avoid instances where they mix. Once in the peer group, users can feel free to comment on each other’s posts, comment, chat and add pictures. When users from a nearby geographical location come online and check them, they receive notifications and to check out who they are, they buy points. The app has been rated as one of the safest apps to use by teenagers because of its strict moderation.


Frans Schoeman is among many professionals on that are dedicated to protecting the environment. Schoeman, who has been an attorney for twenty one years at Joubert Schoeman, deals with legal matters of the environment among other legal matters. He is currently the director of Phatsima Diamond, a law firm in South Africa. He is well known for his vast understanding of copyright laws as well as the intellectual laws. Human activities are known to have either positive or negative effect on the environment. Environmental law is a term that describes the regulations, statutes, common and customary laws that relate to the effects of human activity to the environment. This law addresses how the natural environment which includes forests, minerals and fisheries among others are affected when human beings go about their daily activities. The law is comprised of other laws that include air quality law, water quality law, waste management laws and environmental cleanup laws. Pollution is the core principle that all these laws tries to address.
Air quality law is concerned with protecting human health by preventing pollution. They govern the release of poisonous emissions into the atmosphere. The industrial activities of people may lead to emissions of air pollutant concentrations that may also affect the Ozone layer which helps to protect human beings from the harmful sunrays. The emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere may also lead to the formation of acid rain that has negative impacts to the environment. In order to regulate release of harmful substances into the atmosphere, the law identifies and categorizes air pollutants and also sets limits for the acceptable levels of emission.
Water quality laws are the rules and regulations set to govern the release of pollutants into the water sources. Water sources ought to be protected to avoid pollution which may damage human health or destroy the aquatic ecosystem. Sewage treatment, industrial waste management and agricultural waste management are some of the measures taken to reduce water pollution. Proper disposal of waste materials is also essential in reducing water pollution as well as air pollution. The waste management laws govern the treatment and disposal of all kinds of waste. This generally minimizes uncontrolled dispersal of the waste materials. The laws also provide guidelines to the methods of disposal appropriate for different waste materials.
In case of pollutions or contaminations, there are environmental clean ups that are assigned to foresee the removal of the contaminants. They are designed to respond to pollution unlike the other environmental laws which are designed to prevent pollution. In some cases the parties that caused the pollution are often liable for their actions and as such do the clean ups. Other environmental laws such as the wildlife laws, forestry laws among others are put in place to ensure that these resources are not exhausted. Forestry laws for instance, deals with issues of forest management and timber harvesting. This is done to ensure that the forests are not exhausted. The wildlife laws on the other hand regulate the impact of human activity on wild animals.

Frans Schoeman: The Role of Treaties in Sustainable Development

Environmental law – sums up all regulations, treaties, and common law aimed at highlighting how our human activities affect the natural world. There is a great need for us as inhabitants of this planet to scrutinize our activities and how they are affecting the natural environment. Laws themselves are not enough to ensure there’s a global unison in joint issues thus stakeholders have gone to great lengths to draw fundamental concepts in global environmental law which have a worldwide impact. In the backdrop of the rapid changes in an ecological crisis that include a rise in ocean levels, climate change and rapid loss of animal species. These appraisals are used to inform stakeholders about how they can enhance inter-government enforcement.

Excessive treaties

While many of the world’s treaties are set up in good faith, the complexity of the interaction between national and international agreements signed weaken the efficiency of worldwide environmental law. The since the Stockholm Conference of 1872 there has been a large number of agreements signed into law by various players. This congestion came from distinct differences in isolated talks which then pass their agreements. There is also individual funding by these different groups whose rulings overlap existing agreements and, in the long run, affect local capacity to tackle environmental issues and activities that are underway. These various treaties drain government resources and further complicate the work of officials in countries where there’s an agenda for negotiation and affects many countries in the third world. These treaties may include the: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) these are just select laws found in most countries.

For individuals and companies caught up in lawsuits, navigating this maze of international law and national legislation together with countless treaties may seem like a daunting task. Frans Schoeman steps in at this point, a graduate of the University of Free State in South Africa, Frans is the Director of Phatsima Diamond Corporation which runs a mining concession in Angola. Frans is a Senior Partner at Joubert Schoeman and yields superb legal assets and skills. Frans Schoeman himself boasts over 21 years of experience in working with various international and national companies leading many to victory and in one litigation the company netted over R120 million.

The National Environmental Management Act in South Africa defines the environment as the collection of objects and surroundings that influence the behavior and life of human beings and other organisms. The body recognizes the existence of legal norms about the environment; they are however not laws themselves. They just are used for environmental conservation, whereby this is the preservation of natural resources a process called environmental management.

The constitution of the nation provides measures to ensure sustainable development and usage of natural resources and still encouraging reasonable social and economic development. It forms the basis of sustainable development not just in South Africa but all across the globe. Economic principles do not solely warrant development amid exploitation of resources; they should take into consideration the sustainable use and integrate proper management of the environment.

Foreign developers and brokers eye ‘America’s safest big city’ for investment

At The Real Deal’s first-ever U.S. Real Estate Showcase & Forum in Shanghai last week, property developers from all over the world, most especially from China, spoke extensively about the attraction of investing in the unofficial financial capital of the world.

“The demand is something we all cannot create,” said Miki Naftali, CEO of the Naftali Group, according to The Real Deal. He noted that demand for real estate in America’s largest city, New York and NYC apartments for sale is constant.

Town Residential remains a key source for such investments. Town Marketing and Leasing focuses on a ground up approach to developing real estate in a city already beset by many competing interests. Opportunities to focus on fulfilling foreign interests in developing real estate within the city seem endless.

All of this sounds promising but, according to The Real Deal, foreign investors can sometimes find it difficult to obtain financing in the States. That should not, however, dissuade developers from investing in the largest and safest city America has to offer. Stephen Kliegerman, president of Halstead Property Development Marketing, says that cash reserves can, and should, be used to offset any potential financing problems in the States.

Foreign investors also should not limit themselves to Manhattan, the jewel of New York. “Brooklyn shouldn’t even be called a borough — it’s the next great city,” said Town Residential CEO Andrew Heiberger. Indeed, investment opportunities all across New York City remain promising to many investors and developers.

Foreign investment might not be anything new to a city as lush and promising as New York City. But according to The Real Deal it appears that foreign developers are just now spreading their wings and focusing on the most highly sought after real estate in the United States..

“It’s the safest big city in America,” Jonathan Simon, founder and CEO of Simon Baron Development, said. “The city’s cleaned up tremendously and that makes a huge difference.”

America’s safest big city might just be the safest investment for real estate developers whether they live in California, London, or Shanghai.

Ken Griffin-The Financial Artist

Ken Griffin began his career as a hedge fund manager in his days as a college student at Harvard University. At Harvard, where his desire and affinity for the investment world came into fruition, Ken Griffin asked his friends and family for a little bit of startup money so that he could build his own hedge fund and play the stock market in his dorm room. With the $200,000 in capital that he receives from his friends and family, he was able to invest a liberal amount of capital into different markets and test out different strategies in order to ensure that the strategies he was using were on par with those that the pros use. He quickly gained his feet in the world of investing and made his friends and family quite a large sum of money.

Eventually, he decided that it was only right for him to reach out to different investors. When the Frank C. Meyer, an investor and founder of Glenwood Capital LLC saw his portfolio and what he had accomplished with just $200,000, he was floored. He offered Ken Griffin $1 million to invest his money on a trial basis. He returned his money with a 70% increase in months, leading Frank C. Meyer to fully trust Griffin, therefore leading his career in a direction that would eventually allow him to become one of the world’s greatest hedge fund managers.

Eventually, Griffin decided to start his own business. He had worked and made lots of money as a hedge fund manager on an unofficial basis, yet, he did not have his own business to work from and gather employees with. He did not have a brand. So he built Citadel and quickly grew it from being just another small, boutique firm. Eventually, after years of handling and investing money that was given to his fund prudently and shrewdly, he acquired $1 billion in capital to invest, within just a period of eight years. When he first started Citadel, the only had $1 million to invest.

Eventually, after years and years of investing, he was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the 400 wealthiest entrepreneurs in the United States. This was quite an accomplishment for the young hedge fund manager and the PR that he received from the article caused a frenzy of investors to contribute to his fund, making Citadel one of the largest hedge funds in the world.

It all started from a dorm room with a fax machine, a computer, and a satellite dish and he eventually evolved to having $1 billion of investable capital and 100 employees. He built himself the American dream and no one can fault him for the successes that he has created because he put everything into growing his operation to the substantial level that it resides today.

Aside from investing large amounts of capital from investors all over the world into businesses that he strongly believes in, he also has made a name for himself as quite the well-seasoned philanthropist. His work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been absolutely staggering. He is also a board member at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as several museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Atlanta Hawks Score Record Season, Huge Franchise Sale

They always say that if you are going out you had better go out while on top, and that phrase applies directly to former Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson. Bruce Levenson purchased the Atlanta Hawks back in 2002 through the Hawk Spirit LLC. He helped manage and cultivate the team for the past 14 years and made them into the yearly Eastern Conference power houses that they are today. It took awhile but Atlanta finally had a season that would make any team owner proud: Franchise record in wins, Eastern Conference Final berth (first time in 50 years!) as well as almost a full line up of starters in the All Star Game. Not a bad time to sell, right?

When the Los Angeles Clippers were sold this past year for a stunning multi billion dollar deal the market was dramatically re-adjusted. The going rate for NBA franchises seemingly doubled and that was definitely what happened with Atlanta. Last year they were estimated at a value of close to $400 million. When Antony Ressler, along with his group of buyers, closed their deal the Hawks ended up selling for close to $850 million. Levenson on ajc now gets to step away from the franchise as a winner in multiple different ways. So what will Antony Ressler be getting for his money?

Antony Ressler had an estimated value of close to $1.4 billion so it seems pretty clear that he knows how to make money, and that means making smart investments. The Atlanta Hawks, right now, are one of the smarter investments in the NBA. The Hawks are coming off of the aforementioned 60 win season and they’ve retained a vast majority of their Southeast Division winning roster. The Atlanta fanbase is finally showing prolonged interest in the NBA team and now there is a possibility for Ressler to cultivate some long term momentum for the team.

Right now Atlanta is looking like a lock for one of the top 10 spots in the NBA power rankings. By retaining Paul Millsap and plugging in some veteran acquisitions (Tiago Splitter, Tim Hardaway Jr.) the Hawks have retooled and refueled for another deep run.

The big focus for Atlanta, and Ressler in particular, will be the start of the 2015 – 16 regular season. Right now Atlanta is being downplayed by critics and analysts and a slow start could lead straight into a prolonged slump. The East has gotten competitive enough that a prolonged slump could spell long term trouble for a team even as talented as the Hawks.

Cruelty-Free and Creative Conscious

Creativity in Cosmetics

Finding the perfect shade of ravishing rose, soft primrose pink or pale plum to complement a curvy lip, can brighten any artsy fashionista’s mood. Drawing the eye and capturing the imagination through the use of cosmetics, the artist in all of us can express individuality and creativity via a unique platform. Whether one is creating the illusion of smoky eyes for a late night lounge party, or brushing on bright and bold colors of shadow to highlight a bubbly personality, makeup application is an art-form all its own. For many, the face is a blank canvas anxious for a painter’s talented touch.

The Darker Side

Over the years numerous varieties of beauty products have provided dusky cheekbones, luscious lashes, and glistening lips to appreciative consumers. Cosmetics are responsible for bringing relief to generations of people struggling with skin problems. Countless times potential disasters from the sudden onslaught of an unsightly pimple or a facial blemish on picture day, have been averted by hastily procured cover-up products. Sadly, many don’t realize that animals pay the ultimate price to provide consumers with those “aw” moments or sighs of relief. In cosmetic testing, animals suffer in excruciating conditions for the sake of endorsing a beauty product. Animals used in cosmetic testing are: rabbits, mice, guinea pigs and rats. Notorious for its inhumanity, the lethal-dosage test forces animals to consume varying doses of ingredients, to pin-point the amount it would take for someone (or in this case an animal) to die after ingesting a specific ingredient. To add even more insult to injury, cosmetics that are animal-tested cannot fully guarantee safety for human use. Results from cosmetic testing are confusing and often unclear.

Making A Statement

One cosmetic company is standing up against animal cruelty and standing out. With their firm stance in opposition of animal-testing and their line of fashion-forward makeup, Lime Crime successfully creates vibrant, high-quality products made with cruelty-free/vegan ingredients. For trend-setters,or avant-garde enthusiasts, Lime Crime cosmetics offers the perfect medium to illustrate the fanciful and the fashionable. Their liquid-to-matte lip color makes for a brilliantly fresh statement, while they celebrate grunge and earthy undertones in the offering of a multi-color eye shadow kit. Not adverse to glam, their zodiac themed cosmetic glitter is affordable, adding just the right accent to pouting lips or polished nails. A sparkling testament to originality and appreciation of the arts, Lime Crime is a cosmetic company that embraces self-expression, encouraging consumers to continue to dream in color. Impacting the cosmetic world, as well as the world of activism, Lime Crime brings awareness to animal suffering, and creates aesthetically pleasing products for the enjoyment of consumers everywhere.


The Search for Garden Space in New York Real Estate

Oh, for a little hint of greenery, is it really too much too ask?

As real estate in New York heats up again after the ups and downs of the recession, a new factor is becoming an issue in the search for NYC apartments for rent for dwellings in this overcrowded city. What people are looking for now is a hint of a garden and patio to relax in. At these prices, is it too much too ask?

Real estate professionals in New York now say that serious buyers want apartments that give them a dose of nature to take away the edge of city life. What’s an issue, however, is how honest the listings are that mention a garden/patio with the apartment. Does “garden/patio” mean there’s an outdoor sitting area involved, with a little bit of grass, or does it mean if you look really hard out the window you might see a park a few miles away? Savvy buyers have to read between the lines, or hopefully work with a realtor who knows the score, garden wise.

Realtors who know what to look for can do a lot of detective work to find a property that has an actual garden attached, though it might take some doing. There are listings in places like Brooklyn that come with small gardens that are sometimes a bit larger than the apartments themselves, but if a buyer wants greenery, perhaps the trade off is worth it.

The real estate professionals at TOWN have been doing a lot of searching of late to find the right balance between garden spaces and living spaces for their clients. As one of the top luxury residential real estate firms in the city, TOWN has made a name for itself over the past few years with its solid track record of finding just the right properties for clients. They do it by really listening to their client’s desires while still keeping their eyes on the realities of the market.

So, if that means finding a penthouse downtown with hardwood floors, a view, and a real garden with real grass and flowers, that’s what they’ll do. Let’s face it, finding that dream spot in this city is no small feat, but with the right advice from professionals who really know the lay of the land, anything’s possible. Even a place with a real garden.