Citadel Reviews | Glassdoor

Citadel Reviews

Updated September 15, 2017
142 reviews

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3.5
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Citadel Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ken Griffin
Ken Griffin
85 Ratings

142 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • good environment and smart people (in 19 reviews)

  • You can learn a lot as a technologist (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance can be challenging (in 16 reviews)

  • long hours hard work its win or lose (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great earning potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Strong leadership and integrity
    -Stability
    -High compensation
    -Great talent

    Cons

    -Very high expectations all the time which can be too intense for some

    Advice to Management

    None ! Keep up the good work :)


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Recruiting team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Citadel full-time

    Pros

    None at all that I can think of other than they waste your time

    Cons

    The team size is huge but yet they can't get anything done.

    Advice to Management

    Rebuild the recruiting team with leaders who understand the trading business and are not from a tech firm.

  3. "Great Technology to work with, need some stability in management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    My experience at Citadel was very positive. A great place to learn new skills and augment existing ones. I thought the opportunity to work with some of the latest technologies can only help the employees stay current with their skill sets.

    Cons

    There is a degree of us vs them attitude both internally and externally. A willingness to have a helpful attitude while present is overshadowed with many instances of not caring for other party.

    Advice to Management

    Need to have some stability in upper management. There is too much turn over with each new management having differing priorities.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Good luck, you'll need it in technology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay and bonuses. The benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    The management in technology is a joke. The Directors/Vice Presidents have been there to long and several don't know how tech works. The CTO is always changing so there is no stability. The tech stack is very old. There is also a lot of back stabbing with various teams.

    There is no work life balance. You are expected to work a minimum of 50 hours.

    Advice to Management

    Start from scratch. Bring in new talent and not people that have been in the financial arena their whole lives. Trust your developers.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Awesome place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best and the brightest work here. You will be given every resource available to succeed.

    Cons

    Very cutthroat. Be prepared to work 3 to 4 years here before being asked to leave, unless you are exceptional.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Operations Associate"

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

    I worked at Citadel full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Citadel is an extremely professional environment where everybody takes their jobs very seriously. Management is very engaged, knowledgeable, and in the weeds of what is going on. Nobody lasts at Citadel due to anything besides merit.

    Great compensation. Your salary will be the highest that there is in the industry.

    Catered breakfast/lunch/dinner.

    Cons

    There are two key problems with working in any BO/MO position at Citadel:

    1. You have no future within the company doing anything besides what you are doing now. HR and your manager(s) may pretend like there will be opportunities, but that will never happen and you can look at the people at the firm for proof. Nobody transitions into anything desirable. Advancements are in title only. There are people that have been there for 10 years and are 'managers' and even directors that are doing the same menial work that interns will do. There is zero chance for professional growth or career development. The leadership is entrenched (if you would even want their jobs) and not leaving anytime soon. Stay far away if you are ambitious because, despite the name and compensation, it is very much a dead end for your career. Your only hope for meaningful career advancement is to leave for another firm after 3-5 years (which is all Citadel is trying to get out of you).

    2. You are compensated more because you are expected to work dramatically more hours than comparable positions anywhere else. On an hourly basis, you are paid the same as people anywhere else, often even less. It is common to work >12hr days in a MO or BO role at Citadel and not uncommon to see people putting in 14 hour days and working weekends. This happens because there is consistent understaffing and a lack of respect for life outside of work. The claim from management is that you need to 'leverage technology,' which is mostly unsubstantiated rhetoric. Many things cannot (currently) be automated. This would be tolerable if there was any future for people willing to put in such work, but there is not.

    Advice to Management

    Give people an opportunity to develop their skills and career. It is a dead end for anybody ambitious if they aren't already on a PM track.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "account exec"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time

    Pros

    great company to work for

    Cons

    could do a better job

  8. Helpful (6)

    "A lot of under qualified people hiding in bureaucracy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data Architect in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Data Architect in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Citadel (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free lunch. Flexible work hours.

    Cons

    Poor management. Rampant blame culture.


  9. Helpful (16)

    "Citadel Securities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Comp is very good. Free food is decent.

    Cons

    No work life balance (you would work 10-11 hours a day min), constant jokes from peers (and management) of "do or be fired". Interests are very short term. Failure is not an option. CYA culture everywhere. Zero planning. No transparency from above. Very poor communication when people come and go. One day you are sitting next to someone, next day he is gone. No notice, no nothing - just like that.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up. You have all the money in the world already.


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Completely different experience depending on the team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Citadel full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Passionate employees who know their respective fields very well and work hard.
    - Great compensation.
    - Getting specific tech or tools to use isn't a problem (money-wise, anyway) Still, this depends on the team you're on.
    - If you have a good boss (and boss's boss), you'll probably have a great experience.
    - The challenges at the scale Citadel operates at are uniquely interesting and they have some awesome solutions to some of these challenges.
    - Great office, food, gym, perks like that.
    - Generally good hiring culture (depending again on team).

    Cons

    - The worst siloing I've ever seen at a company. There are multiple bug tracking tools, code repository systems, wikis, and even chat/communication tools and it varies from department to department and team to team who uses what. This makes collaboration nearly impossible.
    - Very difficult to make an impact on the tech since it's so spread out.
    - You could end up on a very silo'd team with very little access to anything and your boss expects you to work all the time (including nights and weekends).
    - Lots of teams want to just buy solutions and build their own spaghetti systems instead of leveraging what's already been built elsewhere (within Citadel and from the open source community). Sometimes this isn't even really their fault - they just don't know what's out there.
    - Some of the code you'll find is comically bad because of deadlines, "not invented here" syndrome, and simply asking quants and traders to build software. This goes for use and abuse of databases and queuing technologies as well.
    - Very little service-oriented architecture. Lots of monoliths. Poor understanding of basic software engineering concepts like fault tolerance, re-trying i/o, exception handling, etc.

    Advice to Management

    - Set better company-wide work/life balance guidelines. Don't expect anyone to work nights and weekends all the time - that makes for unproductive workers and uninspired thinkers.
    - Build up a common tech stack that supports all modern languages and a few databases. Make sure EVERY technologist can access and use the same code base so there aren't a million re-implementations of the same things.
    - Embrace open source technologies. Commit back to projects you can. This is huge.
    - Instead of trying to hire more people, just let the people you already have form larger, cross-departmental groups so they can build a few, well-architected things instead of trying to build and manage many things on their own.
    - Let good engineers come together to build great systems over a long period of time instead of trying to rush a tiny team to build complicated bespoke scripts.


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