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October 17, 2018  

Former Citadel Quant Chief Planning a Launch

Jonathan Graham, the former head of Citadel’s quantitative-investing unit, is laying the groundwork for his own investment business.

Word began to spread in the past few weeks after his non-compete agreement with Citadel expired. Graham left the $31 billion multi-strategy fund manager in March 2017.

It’s unclear when Graham hopes to launch, or exactly what type of business he envisions. But his efforts are of keen interest to quant professionals given Citadel’s reputation for employing state-of-the-art investment technology.

Graham spent about 13 years at Citadel, where he most recently was a senior managing director in charge of the quantitative strategies unit — one of five investment divisions at the Chicago firm. The quant group trades a mix of securities and derivatives including equities, bonds, commodity futures and currencies.

Graham was a key witness in the prosecution of former Citadel engineer Yihao “Ben” Pu, who in 2015 pleaded guilty to stealing proprietary data from Citadel and another firm. Pu was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Following Graham’s departure, Citadel re-hired James Yeh to head the quantitative strategies unit. Yeh originally joined Citadel in 1993 and started its quant-trading business. He retired in 2014, at which point Graham took over the quant group.