Citadel Jettisons Some Staff in Reshuffle at Surveyor Unit
(Bloomberg) -- Ken Griffin’s Citadel has dismissed several portfolio managers and analysts in a shakeup at its Surveyor Capital unit.
More than a half-dozen portfolio managers and even more analysts have departed since Phillip Lee took Surveyor’s reins in May, according to people familiar with the matter. The restructuring included cutting several teams, hiring new ones and asking some employees to relocate.
The departures in the stock-picking unit follow others from earlier this year. At least 13 of Surveyor’s roughly 27 portfolio managers, who run their own trading pods, have exited since January. In turn, the unit hired 10 new portfolio managers, with most joining after Lee took over.
“Phil is focused on hiring, mentoring and developing the next generation of portfolio managers at Surveyor Capital and we have already seen positive results under his leadership,” said Zia Ahmed, a spokesman for the $43 billion firm. Most of the exits were related to performance, he added.
After taking over Surveyor, Lee determined that teams with members operating in different cities were underperforming and asked each of them to work together in one location, Ahmed said.
Surveyor, which started in 2008, now has about two dozen teams. Lee reduced the number to allow more time to manage them. The 10 new portfolio managers have all produced positive returns, which “meaningfully contributed to the unit’s year-to-date gains,” Ahmed said.
Citadel’s main Wellington fund is having a strong year, gaining about 21% through mid-October, one of the people said. All three Citadel equity units -- Surveyor, Ashler Capital and Global Equities -- which feed into the main fund, are up for the year.
Citadel has about 150 employees in its Surveyor unit and about 2,000 firmwide.
Lee joined the firm as an analyst in 2013 and became one of Citadel’s most successful portfolio managers. He was promoted to deputy head of Surveyor earlier this year and took over the group in May, when Todd Barker retired after 16 years at the firm.
In 2019, Chicago-based Citadel shuttered a fourth equity unit after a restructuring that led to 45 departures, or about a third of its staff. Three years earlier, the firm cut roughly 15 jobs at Surveyor.
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