Citadel Securities LLC, the market-maker founded by Ken Griffin, hired Anthony Cronin of Societe Generale SA to head Treasuries trading in Europe as part of a push into the ranks of leading global dealers in the U.S. government-debt market.
The addition, which is effective Monday, expands the firm’s market-making ability to span the full European trading day and the latter part of Asia hours, as well as the Middle East. Last year, it began dealing in off-the-run Treasuries, adding the segment to its benchmark business.
“Our goal is building one of the top market makers in the world in dollar rates products,” Paul Hamill, global head of fixed income, currencies and commodities at Chicago-based Citadel Securities, said by phone. “Treasuries are a huge component of that and are critically important for clients in Europe and Asia.”
In another step to bolster Treasuries market-making, the firm hired London-based Michele How for fixed-income sales in January, Hamill said. Citadel Securities has 15 employees in London in its fixed income, currencies and commodities area.
It has about 100 U.S. Treasuries clients in 17 countries across Asia and Europe, and Hamill predicts that tally will double this year.
In Asia, its initial focus is on Hong Kong, mainland China and Japan, as clients based in those regions show the most interest in new market-makers, Hamill said.
“A lot of these clients transact electronically, but a large volume is also done by voice, which is why we hired Michele as well as Tony,” Hamill said.
The buildup in the dealer-to-client slice of the government-debt market comes amid a broader push by Citadel Securities on rates dealing, including the hiring of Daniel Gottlander from Citigroup Inc. in September to lead interest-rate swaps trading in the U.S.
Since it started Treasuries market-making directly with investors in 2016, it’s nearly tripled its counterparties to over 450 and almost quadrupled its average daily volume, Hamill said. The electronic market-maker has been a presence in inter-dealer Treasuries trading for more than a decade.
In 2017, the notional value of Treasuries traded through Citadel Securities totaled $6 trillion, including business with investors and dealers, according to the firm. That’s up from $5 trillion the prior year, with the rise mostly related to its off-the-run expansion.
Joining the ranks of the Federal Reserve’s primary dealers is still a likely part of the plan for Citadel Securities, after it starts dealing in all the required securities. It lacks certain products, such as Treasury Inflation Protected Securities and strips, which it expects to introduce this year.
“Being a primary dealer is a very important accolade,” Hamill said. “The goal would be that once we have the complete product-set needed and participate the time required, then we’d very likely seek to become a primary dealer.”