Citadel Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated September 2, 2014
Updated September 2, 2014
65 Reviews
3.8
65 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Citadel Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ken Griffin
Ken Griffin
45 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Citadel has great benefits, ability to interact with smart people throughout the firm (in 9 reviews)

  • Good pay, catered lunch, smart people (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance not important to the firm but everyone does have a full slate of holidays (in 6 reviews)

  • No clear career growth potential or encouragement/push from managers (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

35 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Where do you go from here?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Total compensation (base + bonus + medical/dental benefits) are nearly impossible to beat. Tack on the other perks (catered meals, in-house gym, discounts on things such as cellular plans and museum memberships, commuter benefits, the sheer amount of in-house education taught by industry & academic leaders) and you won't fit better overall compensation in Chicago.

    The culture of compliance (legally speaking) gives you a feeling of stability. As much as we all hate going to those meetings for "re-education", it's comforting to know that regulations are taken seriously and people are willing to reach out for help when they've made a mistake. Citadel proves firms can prosper regardless of the regulatory environment.

    Cons

    Like most hedge funds, the org chart is very flat. You will be rewarded through comp, but if you desire more than money, the upward mobility is pretty limited.

    For many years, there was a saying that Citadel is a "technology firm that happens to trade". This is ridiculous. The technology at Citadel is very outdated and many teams spend an equal amount of time working around the limitations of the infrastructure as they do building solutions to problems for the business they serve. Of course the darling businesses are allowed to buy whatever they need to get the job done, but for the other slow-but-steady money makers, technology can be extremely frustrating. This frustration transcends both the software (compilers, tool kits, etc.) and the hardware (storage subsystems, network infrastructure, etc.).

    Unless you have deferred comp (difficult to achieve) or are directly involved in a business (QR and trading), your comp is based on the overall performance of the firm and yourself,. but you have no direct way to participate in the gains (or losses) of the firm. A voluntary employee fund (or something along those lines) would be nice for those of us that are dedicated to the firm and want greater benefit from our contributions.\

    The office is sterile. There is very little access to natural light (unless you happen to have an office), otherwise it's a fluorescent hell. The "open cubicle" concept is extremely detrimental to productivity, but I'm not sure it was done in the name of conformance and collaboration. In reality, it does nothing to foster collaboration outside of what a team is going to do naturally, with the added strikes of being noisy and disruptive.

    The politics in upper IT management can be paralyzing. We often do nothing out of fear or a Congressional-like inability to compromise, rather than stepping on some toes and doing what's needed to get the job done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To the folks in facilities management -- please read Peopleware and then try convincing yourself this environment is optimal for software development.

    To the upper management of IT -- you should also read Peopleware.

    To trading and C-level executives -- please reconnect with all of us. The yearly town halls are becoming generic and uninformative. Despite our size, the firm always felt small, as if we were a strategic, money-making family. In recent years it feels more and more "corporate", less dynamic, and out of touch with the current generation of employees and recruits.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    For technologists, a good place to learn about finance and trading, but not technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good in house training on finance, markets, etc. You can learn a lot as a technologist. Good pay and bonus if you are working in a profitable part of the company.

    Cons

    Technology is deep but very narrow and old-school. Very little open source. Very little collaboration. The tech staff is operated a bit as a fiefdom, based on loyalty and hours worked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in more modern development practices and tools.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Spotty systems, political environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT/Developer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - IT/Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Pay is good. You make useful Contacts. You learn the Business knowledge.

    Cons

    Extremely political environment. Upward mobility difficult.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reduce turnover. Find growth paths for employees within the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Work hard, stressful environment, but compensated well

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Global Infrastructure  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Global Infrastructure in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Citadel full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Compensation, benefits, very little dead weight is carried

    Cons

    Difficult to advance, daily catered lunch makes it easy to pack on the pounds

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Leading Financial Company in Chicago, much better working environment and culture than other prop trading firms.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good Env. Top pay, Relax culture (comparing to other leading prop trading firm in Chicago).

    Cons

    Still tough for new comer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it and moving forward.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Highly challenging

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Highly challenging work environment, smart collegues

    Cons

    Highly volatile and job insecurity

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great experience. Surrounded by intelligent human capital and learned a lot.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Citadel as an intern

    Pros

    Industry leader; Smart, hard-working people; Flexible; Value interns

    Cons

    Fast-paced environment not for everyone.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very fast paced environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Citadel full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Citadel hires talented and very knowledgeable employees so I definitely learned a lot while working there and managers are definitely willing to delegate work so you get more experience.

    They had a lot of perks - Benefits are amazing, salary and bonuses are above market, free gym if you had the time to go, food provided for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Ken would give out tickets to the symphony, got to go to cubs games but I feel like they need these perks because you work so many hours.

    Extremely fast-paced environment and no day was the same.

    Cons

    No work/life balance and a very cut-throat environment. I noticed a lot of turnover because employees got burnt out. Citadel provides a lot of perks/amenities, which is great, but I felt I had to eat at my desk everyday and work a ridiculous amount of hours. I was also expected to work everyday on vacations and I never came back feeling relaxed but more stressed out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    fast paced exciting technical experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Citadel full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    everyone is there to work hard and deliver per team
    very experienced and knowledgeable co-workers
    benefits are top notch
    pay is competitive
    training is highly embraced
    work with fairly new technologies
    turnaround on environment or technical changes do not get hung up on resistance or red tape

    Cons

    flat hierarchical structure in technology
    decisions only typically come from a few in upper leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership, take some time to interact with other resources other than direct reports or other leadership

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    good company to work for...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    good pay, good work, get to work with smart people.
    free food, training etc. tuition

    Cons

    No cons..
    no cons
    no cons
    no cons

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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