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Citadel is still hiring, even while people work from home

COVID-19 may be upending reality, but it's not changing the fact that there are still critical roles to fill or that new hires are arriving who signed contracts before the pandemic was declared on 11 March and the market dislocation began on 9 March. Some of those staff seem to be arriving at Citadel.

LinkedIn indicates that Citadel has made already several hires on both sides of the Atlantic in March. They include: Roland Beunardeau, who joined in London as an equity market neutral analyst from GLG; Kieran Douglas, who also joined in London as a software engineer from Morgan Stanley; Grant Wilder, who joined in London as a macro analyst from Balyasny; and Angela McNabb, a deputy COO who joined in New York from BlueMountain Capital Management.  

The new additions come as Reuters reported today that Citadel's flagship Wellington fund has turned a slight profit for the year, despite being down over 5% in March. Many of Citadel's staff are understood to be working from home, although some key staff are still in the office. One portfolio manager at rival fund Millennium Management said most of its people are also working from home now. "We're just trying do our best in these very difficult conditions."

Several hedge funds have come unstuck in the crisis. The Financial Times reports today that quant funds Two Sigma and DE Shaw have joined Renaissance Technologies in losing money in recent weeks. Millennium Management has closed around 10 of its 230 trading pods in response to volatile markets.

Vikram Tandon at New York headhunter Tardis Group says hedge funds are still hiring even in this market, although few are likely to bring new recruits over the line until the summer. "Right now, it's as quiet as the summer is usually and we expect that the summer will be busy," says Tandon. 

David Hobert at executive search firm Shadowhound says some New York hedge funds will be well positioned to hire at the end of this. "Funds that have strong risk management, stable performance and limited netting issues will be big winners," he says.

The head of one pod at Millennium says he's still hiring now. "We're planning to announce a new recruit to the team soon. It's business as usual," he says.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • pb
    26 March 2020

    I hope that when that guy says it's business as usual, that does not include everyone sitting on a desk together, but rather separation, plus whoever can legally work remotely is.

    I'm not working right now (my old firm had lots of users moved out of Manhattan so that senior managers could lose their commutes), and I badly want and need a job, but right now I don't want to be daily commuting. Not worth it. Though I also know that the type of work I do, being in the office ads little to nothing to what I accomplish. Indeed, not doing a 4 hour round trip commute lets me work a longer day with less exhaustion and obviously far less exposure, and without office noise all around me I get a lot more done, and do it better. Having said that, I find it critical to have daily discussions with one's manager and coworkers, having a good video conference system (face to face via video that works well is very helpful), having good internet bandwidth is critical (at home I have far better internet service than I did in the office), and a good VPN based remote access tool. At that last job, our Asian management had come to understand how helpful remote work is - but those same managers who caused dozens to lose their jobs to make their own commutes easier strongly resisted having people work from home.

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