Citadel's SWAT engineering team really likes to hire from HSBC
A team of engineers at Ken Griffin's hedge fund Citadel has been making headlines. Known as Citadel X, it's all about the hedge fund's User Interface (UI). It's been growing fast and playing an increasingly important role at the firm, and one bank in particular has a number of engineers behind it: HSBC.
UI engineers are a hot commodity at both banks and hedge funds in 2023. Banks have a tendency to use fintech infrastructure providers, while hedge funds are doing their UI work in-house.
The circa 20 developer team at Citadel X is described by Business Insider as a "SWAT team" that's "called in to assist other engineering groups with a range of back- and frontend challenges." Its core focus is building "applications that are simple, easy to use, visually appealing, and can handle lots of information." Their current big project is Citadel One, a new framework to bring together existing applications to a singular cohesive platform. This is the kind of work that Glue42, OpenFin and Finsemble are doing for banks.
A number of the engineers working in this team have a history at HSBC. Two of these held senior positions working on UI for HSBCs trading platform, Falcon. Jim Higson who was there for two years, "worked on the flagship Falcon team" whose initial success led to the platform being implemented "far beyond the original remit." He describes himself as an "an early member of the Citadel X team," having joined in late 2020.
Chris Blanchard worked on the Falcon project even longer, four and a half years, where he was a UI tech lead. He joined his former teammate at Citadel a year later at the end of 2021. Andrew Boyne was the earliest joiner; he came to Citadel in early 2019 after four years at HSBC where he was a software engineer in GBM equities. He does not specify if he worked within UI at the bank.
All three of these engineers are London based, in close proximity to Citadel's head of core engineering, Neil Slinger. The London UI contingent also has significant input from JPMorgan; Slinger was a managing director and its head of UI (though his attention is no longer solely focused on it) while former VP Lisa Gagarina is an engineering manager in the UI team.
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