Citadel Securities Hires Former SEC Official as General Counsel

  • Stephen Luparello to join Ken Griffin’s trading firm in May
  • Luparello formerly ran SEC Division of Trading and Markets

Citadel Securities appointed ex-Securities and Exchange Commission official Stephen Luparello as its general counsel, its latest hire plucked from the U.S. stock market’s top regulator.

Luparello, who was previously the SEC’s top official overseeing stock trading
and exchanges, will join billionaire Ken Griffin’s market-making firm in May, according to Citadel Securities spokesman Zia Ahmed. In his new role Luparello will be responsible for managing legal affairs for the firm and will report to Chief Legal Officer Shawn Fagan, according to Ahmed. Citadel Securities accounts for nearly one-fifth of all trading in the $26 trillion U.S. stock market and handles more than a third of volume placed by retail investors.

Luparello, 58, left the SEC in January after leading the Division of Trading and Markets since 2014. Earlier in his career he was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, and an executive at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

This isn’t the first time Griffin has hired from the SEC. Gregg Berman, a Princeton-trained physicist who ran data and analytics at the Division of Trading and Markets, joined Citadel Securities in September as director of research, focusing on market structure.

SEC Fine

Citadel Securities hit the regulatory spotlight in January, when it agreed to pay $22.6 million to settle SEC claims that it misled customers on how it priced stock trades. The firm neither confirmed nor denied the allegations. In the same month, the firm lost its CEO, Kevin Turner, once the highest-paid executive at Microsoft Corp., after just months on the job.

“Citadel Securities’ success is rooted in its ability to attract some of the sharpest minds in the industry and its commitment to doing business the right way,” Peng Zhao, who replaced Turner as CEO of the business, said in a statement emailed Tuesday. “We are very excited to have someone with Steve’s talent and deep legal and regulatory affairs experience join our firm.”

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