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Citadel Did Some Hiring And Firing This Week

Good news for some, less good news for others.
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As you've likely already heard by now, former Fed chair Ben Bernanke picked up a new job today-- advising hedge fund Citadel and its founder Ken Griffin (presumably on "global economic and financial issues" and not on matters of the heart, though one never knows, and Bernanke has been married for over thirty years, so perhaps something to think about). In other personnel news at the firm, apparently 10-figure losses are considered a big deal.

Derek Kaufman, global head of fixed income at Citadel LLC, is leaving the hedge fund firm after losing $1 billion last year in a variety of trades, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Citadel Trader Who Lost $1 Billion in 2014 Resigns [Bloomberg]
Ben Bernanke Will Work With Citadel, a Hedge Fund, as an Adviser [Dealbook]

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By Mr. Granger (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ken Griffin Ensures Ample Supply Of People To Hire And Fire Going Forward

The University of Chicago will be churning out little Ken Griffins—and those training the little Ken Griffins—for the foreseeable future.

Let's Get One Thing Straight: Ken Griffin Only Accuses People Of Attempting to Gain A Competitive Advantage By Gaining Access To Proprietary Trading Strategies-- He Does Not Get Accused!

Back in October, a former Citadel employee, Yihao “Ben” Pu, was arrested and charged with "stealing trade secrets" from Ken Griffin (by "copying company data onto a removable storage device," and then attempting to sell it to Teza Technologies AKA the firm a bunch of ex-Citadel guys tried to join in 2009 before being sued for doing so by Griffin, as well as the the shop a former Goldman programmer, Sergey Aleynikov, went to jail for after giving it proprietary GS code). Now, because apparently people just can't help themselves, KG has been forced to levy another allegation of theft against some former employees who he believes took a piece of his property when they left for high-frequency trading firm Jump Trading. Does Griffin have actual evidence that they swindled him? No, not exactly. But he's got a hunch, and that hunch is based on the fact that since 2005, when people from Citadel's "tactical trading group" started leaving for Jump, "some of the strategies" employed by the TTG "have become less profitable" and are "behaving in a way consistent with their having been copied by rivals." So what KG would like a court to do is force Jump to turn over "personnel documents, strategy and trading records, and source code," which will prove him right and the Citadel defectors to be the plunderers he knows they are.  Evidence in hand, Griffin will then sue Jump and everyone named Ken Griffin will go home happy. The only issue that needs to be worked out is Jump Trading's cooperation, which so far is proving difficult to obtain. In fact, the firm is being downright unhelpful and not only that? Its legal team has accused Griffy-boy of being the thief, or at least trying to be. That's right: the way JT sees it, Citadel's new profitable algorithm development system is a two-step process that goes something like this: Step 1: Steal successful algorithms from rival firm. Step 2: Use them. In its response filing, Jump said that Citadel had no evidence that the algorithms had become less profitable because of any of Jump's actions. It said that any of the hundreds of other algorithmic trading firms could be at fault. "The petition is nothing more than a transparent attempt by Citadel to obtain a competitive advantage by gaining access to Jump's proprietary and confidential trading strategies," Jump's motion said. Your move, KG. Citadel Accuses Jump Employees Of Stealing Secrets [Reuters]