Citadel Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

Updated 8 Oct 2020

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4.1
76%
Recommend to a Friend
83%
Approve of CEO
Citadel Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ken Griffin
Ken Griffin
227 Ratings
Pros
  • "Work with really smart people who want to get things done and deliver results for the business(in 43 reviews)

  • "Fast-paced company with a huge investment in technology(in 24 reviews)

Cons
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Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "work life balance"

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  1. Helpful (26)

    "I used to be proud to say I worked here. It's just toxic now."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Treasury in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    -Free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (You pay taxes on this BTW). -The name still means something but less than what it used to.

    Cons

    -Almost the entire Treasury function has turned over, including the Treasurer, in the last 18 months. People from 1-15+ years experience have resigned just to get their non-compete started, not because they found another role. The entire culture has deteriorated. -The culture is NOT a meritocracy anymore. It is extremely toxic with horrible morale. Having people THINK it’s a meritocracy might be Citadel’s best asset. In reality it operates more like a cult; once you realize you are underpaid for the work you are doing, ask for and do not get a raise, and leave, they will get a 22 year old to do your job for 50-60k and smother that guy until he realizes the same thing. They overpay for some big names here and there and make splash hires and they quietly exit and onto the next. -In line with above, management frequently gaslights you. All your problems are your own fault. Full stop. Two examples, with a manager on vacation I got buy-in from all involved teams to move a project up the priority list into the top 5 because of the potential risks to capital and regulatory reporting. When the manager came back it was moved to 31 and I was asked why it was taking so long. In another instance a developer thought a project was beneath him so I wrote the code myself and handed him the solution. Feedback from management was negative because it took too long and said I should drive more accountability into others. -Management has favorites and untouchables. Mistakes happen, but owning them and working on a solution is only a rule for some. Others never have to clean up their own mess or smell their own manure. -Citadel used to scale through technology and not headcount, but at some point in the last few years a layer of bureaucratic oafs have been installed that lack a rudimentary understanding of hedge funds, finance, markets, and internal workflows. They add no value and just assign blame to lower level employees and teams. Their inflated comp would be better served rewarding employees or hiring more developers. There is no longer any collaboration, just a lot of “That’s not my job” you would find in a bank, which makes sense because almost every director/manager level hire comes from Goldman. -Regarding technology, you’ll hear people say Citadel is a tech/data company that specializes in finance. This is not the case. IT/Dev groups are constantly gutted and turned over resulting in a bottleneck that management refuses to acknowledge. Then they gaslight you. Again, any problem you had was entirely your own; there’s no bottleneck or lack of resources, “You just aren’t pushing hard enough.” -Lack of IT resources results in numerous fire drills for mid level employees. Little can be planned or accomplished when you are playing Russian roulette with 4 in the cylinder (yes, better than a coin flip something breaks!). Employees are encouraged to come up with solutions to eliminate risks and redundancies but the project is never prioritized and then it happens again and the question of why it wasn't fixed will be asked. -Good ideas are passed up for things that are new and sexy, only to be later abandoned because they over-promise/under-deliver or just flat out suck and then they’ll revisit the solution proposed by the SME. -Work/Life balance is non-existent and makes the comp not worth it. There is no expectation of being out of office. There are alerts and texts and emails at all hours that require addressing or else. Hours were normally 7-7 on a day when nothing went wrong, which happened rarely. 2-4 times a week you’ll exceed 14 hours without any acknowledgement whatsoever. -There is little room for advancement. Initially this was okay as long as comp and responsibility kept increasing, but there is a moving invisible target. Management will pay as little as possible to keep you and keep changing the criteria for why you aren’t getting a bigger bonus. The goalpost is constantly moved to suit stiffing you. -Citadel has a decent “Comp Trap” set up where next year’s comp and bonus are communicated in November/early Dec but not paid till March. By the time March rolls around it’s only ~8 months to the next one and maybe that one will be better.

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  2. "Great colleagues; interesting problems"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Citadel full-time

    Pros

    Smart, caring people who will push your thinking and demand the best. Workers are well-compensated for their contributions. Ability to work on challenging problems and to support investment professionals and theses that have significant impact on company performance. Reasonable and sustainable work-life balance.

    Cons

    Facilities and perks are lacking compared to big tech - but on par with other financial firms. Better family leave policies and more vacation time could be beneficial


  3. COVID-19
    Helpful (47)

    "Worth the Read - The Grass Is Pretty Brown in Treasury Department"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -You get to put Citadel on your resume, which has to be losing some value as time goes on. A simple linkedin search for "non-compete Citadel" will show you the vast number of ex Citadel employees currently sitting out their non-compete's. -As others have mentioned you get "free" breakfast & lunch... if you've studied finance, you've probably heard the phrase "there is no such thing as a free lunch" this absolutely rings true here. -The feeling of freedom after you leave.

    Cons

    -Working at Citadel as an associate is equivalent to being a vice-president (or higher) at a bank while getting paid as if you are an analyst. Have also heard the joke that Citadel's biggest arbitrage is actually underpaying employees for the level of responsibility/work. -As others have mentioned, the culture over the past five months has deteriorated at a shocking pace with the exit of the prior treasurer and entrance of the new treasurer. Departures have been rampant and many that have been here for some time are currently just waiting for an opportune time to exit. -Witnessed the new treasurer state: "if you are infected with coronavirus and give it to someone else at the firm you will be fired." -The firm has done a great job at attracting talent by fooling the public with a deteriorating brand name and a false meritocracy. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for this sad reality to set in once you are in the door and have most likely signed a 6-18 month non-compete. It's not unheard-of to see employment tenor's less than 5 months. Multiple big name hires have started during the past 3 years and left the firm in less than 7 months. If you google search this phrase: "executive leaves citadel months" you can find plenty of examples. -Looking for work life balance? Stay away, multiple teams are now down to skeleton crews where they are barely keeping above water, some are now fully underwater and are holding massive amounts of key man risk. Operations teams average 15-16 hour days plus weekends with counterparts constantly escalating to managers due to the excessive number of issues. Currently, there are numerous teams where individuals are unable to take one single day of vacation until more hires are made. One team specifically needed an individual to work everyday while he had coronavirus due to the abysmal amount of coverage. -One of the ops teams specifically has turned over almost 300% in the last 3.5 years. An already abnormally lean team consisting of eight full time, experienced, employees is now running at three full time employees plus a couple interns. -Politics have approached that of working at a bank, especially since every single new hire now comes from Goldman. It's surprising that the firm hasn't been sued yet for the egregious amount of people that have come in directly from GS. Working in treasury under these conditions now provides you with the opportunity to participate in most, if not all, of the firms downside and little to none of the firms upside. Additionally, this situation has created a "too many chiefs and not enough indians" scenario and has created a culture of passing blame and work around to any other team except your own. -The number of driven and highly skilled individuals that have left in the past 6 months and more specifically, during coronavirus with no role lined up should tell you everything you need to know about working here see linkedin comment above ^. -The firm has figured out the exact minimum compensation formula to keep most from quitting immediately after bonuses are released. Furthermore, bonuses are strategically paid out later than almost all other firms on the street. This delay, advantageously places you behind the other finance professionals looking to leave at competing firms that have been interviewing since Nov, Dec, Jan, & Feb. By the time you start looking elsewhere and get serious on exiting, the recruiting market is saturated, and months have passed. After enough time you begin to have a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, next year's bonus they will truly take care of you for your efforts and that you should just stick it out another 6 months or so to find out. Unfortunately, this cycle will continue year after year until you give up all hope and realized you've been underpaid the whole time. -For a firm that prides itself on being a front runner when it comes to IT, this idea seems to have been lost some years ago. As others have mentioned just getting through the day requires significant levels of manual effort on simple tasks that should've been automated long ago but have not due to lack of resources. IT resources for valuable projects are highly strained and are often passed over to be applied to wasteful projects that are applicable to banks, not hedge funds.

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "Fast paced and pretty cutthroat"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Citadel full-time

    Pros

    Pay is well above average

    Cons

    Tech isn't as advanced as advertised. Top down management style. Work life balance blows. Management doesn't care about this at all.

  5. "Good"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    work life balance, and good pay

    Cons

    the location of office isn't the best for me

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  6. Helpful (3)

    "Fast Paced, Lots of Responsibilities"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Citadel is a great place to work for someone without too much experience in the industry. You can make an impact right away and have ownership over your projects. This comes with more responsibilities and you get to interact with the stakeholders of your work. Having ownership means that you can see your project from initial design through to production. Since the people that use the software that you build are internal clients, you get feedback constantly, resulting in a fast paced iteration process. You will be learning alot really quickly and get to develop not only technical skills, but also communication, leadership, and financial skills. teams are generally pretty small and generally collaborative. The company has a very flat sturcture and results oriented. As a junior developer, quant, or trader, you have many opportunities to interact with leaders in management across different functions.

    Cons

    Citadel is split among different businesses. As an engineer, you will be supporting traders and researchers who generate money for those businesses. Not all the businesses have the same culture and thus team experiences could differ. This also means that there will be a team with a business need and culture that you will find compelling. Some teams' work life balance isn't too great and do work very long hours. Usually it is because the projects they work on are very time sensitive and high margin. Turnover is relatively high as some new people may not fit in well with the team and/or business.

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  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quantitative Developer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Fast paced environment - Ample learning opportunities and encouragement to take on greater responsibilities - Ability to take on impactful projects from day 1 - Really enjoyable colleagues who are some of the smartest in the industry - Generous compensation In general, there are some reviews about how terrible of a working environment Citadel is, but I highly disagree. There is, if anything, a much more collaborative environment than I have seen at other companies. Also, work-life balance is not nearly as bad as people would seem. Especially out of New York, the workday is nothing more than other finance companies and very similar to what you would see at similar positions in the most competitive tech companies.

    Cons

    - Since everyone is very talented and ambitious at Citadel, upward mobility is a little harder than at smaller hedgefunds or at less reputable companies. Not a huge deal, just worth mentioning.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Quantitative Researcher"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quantitative Researcher in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Plenty of opportunities to grow.

    Cons

    Difficult to manage work/life balance.

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  9. "Challenging and aggressive company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Citadel full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Brilliant people, good work perks, never ending change and movement, daily challenges in an aggressive environment

    Cons

    At times limited work life balance, not a lot of promotion from within, at times little communication with employees

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  10. Helpful (2)

    "Technology"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Citadel full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    - Work with some of the brightest minds in the business - Ability to set your own goal, hands off management - Great financial incentives

    Cons

    - Work-life balance is not as good

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