Citadel Securities' salaries and bonuses are enormous

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Citadel Securities' salaries and bonuses are enormous

Citadel Securities, the market making firm founded by Ken Griffin, is a privately held company for which information isn't freely available. Nonetheless, Bloomberg reported in January that Citadel Securities earned $6.7bn in revenues globally in 2020, and made a record $4.1bn in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. And we now know that only a tiny proportion of that was generated in London.

In the UK, Citadel Securities (Europe) is obliged to register its accounts with Companies House. Accounts just released for the firm in 2020 reveal that its total income in Europe last year was $348m and that operating profit was just $109m. While this is a handsome margin (and indeed Citadel Securities Europe achieved a 35% return on equity in 2020), it's a drop in the ocean for the business globally.

Citadel Securities' European business may, however, act as a proxy for the health of business worldwide. It also provides an indication of the levels of pay on offer at the firm. In 2020, profits at Citadel Securities Europe increased more than 300% after plummeting 79% in 2019. Pay also rose, but not by as much.

The average combined salary and bonus paid to Citadel Securities' 136 European staff in 2020 was $683k (£499k), up from $659k a year earlier. Citadel Securities added 16 staff in London during the year. 

While Brexit ravages Britain's supply chains, Citadel Securities said the exit from the European Union hadn't been a big deal. There was apprehension about Brexit's impact throughout 2020, but the firm said it made most of its preparations in 2019.

As electronic market makers take increasing shares of the market, they're forging a reputation as some of the biggest payers in the market. Competitor firm, Jane Street, paid even more generously in London last year, at an average of $1.3m per head. 

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