Since moving from UBS to Citadel Securities in January 2015, Paul Hamill has been building and developing a fixed-income and foreign exchange trading and execution business, and it is a growth story. The market-making business, which is separate from Citadel's multistrategy hedge fund business, expanded into interest rate swaps in November 2014. "We started with just a handful of clients and are now up to well over 500 institutional counterparties," Hamill, 41, enthuses. This February it launched its off-the-run Treasuries offering effectively an extension of the firm's business in on-the-run Treasuries. "It's exciting," he says of the new offering. "A huge focus of the last year has been getting ready for that."
Hamill calls technology the "lifeblood" of the business. "What we are about is precision, pricing, and risk," he notes. "That is what we are known for and that is what clients expect from us. We are among the best at thinking the right way about how to process data, how to look across correlations in markets, and how to think about synthesizing that in such an optimal way that you always know where the price is." Citadel is thus able to offer guaranteed market prices, giving it an edge over competitors with only indicative prices. "We make sure the price the client can see all the time is firm, it's live, it's here, we will deal right now," Hamill says.
He cites another Citadel advantage: being able to build a system from scratch, as opposed to dealing with legacy technology. "We have had to think differently about the kinds of tools we put into the hands of our traders and salespeople," he explains. With the flexibility afforded by new technology, "we can say, 'What would you like your day-to-day tool set to look like?' and we can build that, quickly." At a time when banks have to allocate significant budget to comply with Dodd-Frank implementation firms like Citadel Securities have a competitive advantage. "We are well positioned to use technology to innovate," says Hamill, who has an MA in political science from the University of Glasgow and an MSc in finance from the University of London.
The 2017 Trading Tech 40Click below to view profiles