Citadel Securities Hires UBS’s Haddon Kirk for its ETF Business

  • Former head of UBS ETF trading to join market-maker Oct. 31
  • New hire comes as firm adds to ETF business in U.S. and abroad

Citadel Securities hired Haddon Kirk from UBS Group AG for a senior position in block trading of exchange-traded funds, poaching another bank executive to pad its ETF business. 

Kirk, who starts Oct. 31, will focus on how the firm handles large ETF trades, according to Jamil Nazarali, head of execution services at Citadel Securities, who confirmed the hire. Kirk also confirmed the move but declined to comment further. Erica Chase, a spokeswoman for UBS, declined to comment.

“We’re excited to have him come on board to help us continue the growth in our already large ETF business,” Nazarali said. Citadel Securities trades 18 percent of U.S. ETFs by share volume, according to the company.

Kirk arrives amid a year of aggressive hiring at the market-making arm of billionaire Ken Griffin’s Citadel LLC. Cory Laing left Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in July after a 16-year run at the investment bank to head ETF sales for Citadel Securities. The Chicago-based firm has been hiring for its ETF business both in the U.S. and abroad, including in its new Dublin office, which is scheduled to open in early 2017. It also brought on a new chief executive officer -- former Microsoft Corp. chief operating officer Kevin Turner.

The high-speed electronic trader has added to its business in other ways this year. In May Citadel Securities announced it would purchase the equity-trading operations of Citigroup Inc.’s Automated Trading Desk, where Kirk previously worked. ATD was one of the earliest electronic trading operations, founded in 1988. After Citi purchased it for $680 million in 2007, it spent years as a key piece of the bank’s trading infrastructure. As regulation steepened in the aftermath of the U.S. financial crisis, banks have moved away from proprietary trading desks like ATD.

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