A Week After Ken Griffen's Heartfelt "Grandma" Letter On Employee Retention, Three Key Citadwellers Pick Up And Leave

Tyler Durden's picture

It was one short week ago that a visibly emotional Ken Griffen was regaling investors with stories of his grandmother. Inbetween heartfelt recollections of childhood memories, the man who tends to be surprisingly close to the New York Fed when the Dow is not quite generating the desired wealth effect, Griffin interjected the following note on the "strength" of the Citadel team: "We begin our third decade with the strongest team that I have ever assembled. Our professionals have seen the firm through the unprecedented challenges of 2008, when many could have left for other ventures. They stayed committed to Citadel because of who we are and what we represent: an entrepreneurial, results-driven meritocracy that is changing the face of modern finance." It appears something has drastically changed in this whole "results-driven meritocracy" because over the New Year's weekend, three of the most important people at Citadel picked up and left.

From Bloomberg:

Chris Boas, Brad Kurtzman and Carl Mayer, senior executives at the investment banking unit of Ken Griffin's Citadel LLC, have left the firm. Boas was head of credit markets for Citadel Securities. Mayer was head of leveraged finance and Kurtzman ran equity derivatives sales and trading. Devon Spurgeon, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Citadel confirmed the departures.

That said, we now look forward to hearing just how much of an inspiration to Ken's corporate culture his great grandfather, twice removed may or may not have been. And while here we would inquire just how is Citadel's whole lawsuit against Misha Malyshev: the only (HFT) trader in the firm who made money for Citadel in 2008, going, speaking of dedication to employees and yada yada.

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Cursive's picture

Meritocracy? Maybe a meritocracy within an oligarchy within a plutocracy.

Village Idiot's picture

"Meritocracy? Maybe a meritocracy within an oligarchy within a plutocracy."

So in layman's terms like a "Turducken."  Not to be confused with a "turdferguson" which comes up in the same google search.





Cursive's picture

LOL. I was thinking Russian nesting dolls meets Winston Churchill, but you put a good spin on it, VI. Happy New Year, bro.

Dismal Scientist's picture

Firms with messianic bosses will always suffer high turnover. This should be no surprise for anyone who has ever worked for a boss that cannot be reasoned with, of which there are many.

system failure's picture

A guilty conscious will do that to you eventually....

TradingJoe's picture

They all go to FOX Business "News" via CNBS :-)))))))))))))

vote_libertarian_party's picture

It could be rather ominous.


Or it could be they didn't feel compensation wasn't high enough.


All 3 leaving at once sounds spooky.

Apocalicious's picture

Yeah, not to mention Pav Sethi - Head of Vol - who left in 2009..

Julian Frazzo MD in event who left last year, replacing Joe Rotter - US Head of Event who left in 2009, who replaced Irv Shindell Global Head of Event who left in 2008, who replaced Alec Litowitz, Global Head of Event who left in 2005...

Todd Kaplan, Head of Investment banking leaving in 2010, who replaced Peter Santoro who left in 2009 and Rohit D'Souza who left earlier in 2009...

Seems they did "leave for for other ventures."

Internet Tough Guy's picture

My dear old gramps had a saying: 'Money talks, and bullshit walks'.

NotApplicable's picture

Honestly, how many people do you need to make sure the algos are still running?

buzzsaw99's picture

Is this a rats - sinking ship thing or a rats - cheese thing? My guess is the former.

BearOfNH's picture

During "the unprecedented challenges of 2008", how many really could have left? I don't recall a Wall Street hiring binge at the time; indeed surely there were many Lehman and Bear Stearns castoffs competing for any available positions.

TruthInSunshine's picture


Dear Grandma,

We are getting out of the game, and I am leaving for parts other, because I no longer command a table at 'the meetings,' and am not spoon fed as some of my lucky cohorts are.

You have provided me with a comfortable enough cushion via your sponsorship through the years, so I will take the better, earlier opportunity to get out while the getting is good.

Stay long & strong, or at least very wrong.



Rapacious parasite & avaracious destroyer of trust

Quinvarius's picture

I worked at a place where they issued all kinds of employee retention PR and jibber jabber about retaining the most qualified people.  A couple months later all the educated and certified techs with all the experience were laid off.  They were replaced with street people and drunks from a 15$ an hour staffing firm, and Indians who stayed in India.  In a place where outages are measured in 10's of thousands of dollars per minute, the change has been very costly for them. 

I doubt those guys left on their own.

Widowmaker's picture

Sounds like attrition to me-- and no unemployment paid.

Another unemployment tidbit from a "napkin" perspective--  I know of a business with 17 FTE's that cannot hire 2 FTE's (all nat'l median salary) because of Federal income taxes alone.

Makes you wonder...

Hephasteus's picture

Shouldn't that be demeritocrazy.

Drag Racer's picture

My bet is they are tied up and in deep over the insider trading probe AND you will see it tied into the health care biz.

ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

That they left never reveals much. Where they went is the story.

  minutes last night reports on a Quality Assurance VP who worked for Glaxo-Smith-Kline who failed to address incidences of anti-depressants repeatedly packaged, shipped and ingested as diabetic medicine "reporting" only that he "no longer works for Glaxo". Undoubtedly, he is now QA VP at some other firm but why should we care where?  


HungrySeagull's picture

And the Exodus starts. While the Pharoh waxes great about Egypt.

Dark days are coming and the smart ones are getting the hell out.

vainamoinen's picture

"They stayed committed to Citadel because of who we are and what we represent: an entrepreneurial, results-driven meritocracy that is changing the face of modern finance."

Didn't I hear this before at, let's see - where was it? Oh yeah, now I remember - - -