A top quant resigned from Citadel just 15 months after he joined

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Where is Ryan Stever? No one knows, but one thing seems sure: Stever is not at Citadel any more. Insiders say he quit last month and Stever is no longer listed on Citadel's global directory.

Neither Citadel nor Stever responded to a request to clarify his whereabouts. Rumor has it, however, that Stever is returning to his old employer, Acadian Asset Management, and that he will resuface there soon. Acadian also omitted to a request to clarify the situation.

Stever's time at Citadel was curiously short. He joined the fund's San Francisco office in March 2018 after over 10 years at Acadian and was a 'senior quantitative researcher' at the fund, according to his LinkedIn profile. Stever is thought to have reported to Dan Morillo, Citadel's SF-based head of quantitative research who leads a team of 40+ 'research personnel' tasked with alpha modeling. Citadel insiders say that Morillo's team is highly secretive and basically tries to work out how other funds and even Citadel's own top portfolio managers achieve their alpha.

Stever's exit appears to be all the more surprising because he was doing well at Citadel: he's understood to have had an excellent 2018 and a strong start to 2019. It might be assumed that Citadel founder Ken Griffin would have liked to keep him.

Instead, the presumption is that Acadian has poached Stever back, possibly for very a substantial sum. Acadian is in need of some new senior quant researchers after losing Wesley Chan to Pimco last June and Matthew Rothman to Credit Suisse and then Goldman Sachs in early 2018. 

All eyes now are on how long Stever is made to sit out of the market. Citadel has a reputation for asking senior staff who quit to spend years out of the market on gardening leave before joining competitors. - LinkedIn is littered with people who say they've been out for two years, sometimes more. There are unconfirmed suggestions, however, that Stever will be allowed to join Acadian soon - prompting suggestions that Citadel has "gone soft."  

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