Citadel Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
66 Reviews
3.8
66 Reviews
Rating Trends

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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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Incredibly rewarding and challenging

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Investment and Trading Analyst  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Investment and Trading Analyst in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    You will learn more and more will be expected of you than any job you will ever have again
    You will be rewarded financially in line with this effort.
    This firmwide reputation is well known and will travel with you when you leave and I have found it has been very additive to my career experience.

    Cons

    The standards are set as high as anywhere I know and the demands of those standards can be so rigorous it can be hard to maintain that level of performance.
    Either through burnout or not living up to these performance standards you will not in all likelihood have more than a 10 year career at Citadel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to expect and demand high performance from everyone. It is what makes the place great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people 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
  3.  

    Beware of back office contract positions!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Coordinator
    Former Employee - Coordinator

    I worked at Citadel as a contractor

    Pros

    The company name will open doors to other opportunities.

    Cons

    Citadel fills a multitude of back office positions through staffing firms. These firms will source you, sell you on the name of the company and lie to you about career growth. You will not receive benefits of any kind and will not be treated like a full-time employee (they will tell you otherwise in the interview). You will not be invited to company "town halls" and will be forced to remain at your desk as full-time employees meets to discuss the future of the company. The nature of the work is purely administrative. You will be micromanaged by your team and the work you do will be undervalued. If you're looking for a challenge and career advancement, you will not find it at Citadel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide training opportunities for contract employees and be consistent when discussing areas for development. Be honest about career growth (there isn't much) and provide "big picture" explanations for administrative assignments as will help with employee engagement. Be transparent and discuss job performance with your direct reports...instead of discussing it with others in the office....refraining from this may help with your very, very high turnover rate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 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
  6.  

    Very pleased

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Using advanced technology
    Good pay and benefits

    Cons

    The management is involved in local corporate politics and interested in it more than end result.
    But good, not everybody like that, just only some individuals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not afraid of GA team

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Stay away

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

    I worked at Citadel for more than 8 years

    Pros

    There are no pros to this, because its normally about the money, but see the cons section.

    Cons

    Pay. When you work out how many hours you will lose from your life, the money is ridiculously low. Has an jnner circle - if you are not in it, your career will be glacial, and you will be unfairly paid.

    I am suspicious of some of the reviews about using latest technologies....thats complete hogwash. Be prepared to be forced to use really old technology, and when you ask for new tech, get berated and flagged as a trouble maker. The level to which the company is behind on latest technologies is profound.

    The five star reviews here on Glassdoor HAVE to be Citadel HR; its impossible for such an opinion, and I NEVER found anyone in tech that loved working at the company. Depressing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pointless; they dont care.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Pays well but incredibly unstable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technology Analyst  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Technology Analyst in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Good pay, catered lunch, smart people

    Cons

    Stressful, unstable environment, constant insecurity (due to business shuttering)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Very interesting hedge fund

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Software Developer in New York, NY

    I worked at Citadel as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Salary, benefits are exceptional; work with the latest technologies; flexible work arrangements; growing company;

    Cons

    None really -- be prepared to work hard, but have fun because the work is so amazing;

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't change anything -- it's a good work environment -- rewarding personally and economically

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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

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