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Citadel's new NY office will be blessed with an enormous screen

While Citadel's success probably has something to do with the caliber of its portfolio managers, they're not the only cooks contributing to its broth. As we reported in January, there's also the chief risk officer, Joanna Welsh, a British woman from northern England.

Welsh joined Citadel in 2017. She runs a team of around 50 people in the Portfolio Construction and Risk Group. Risk Magazine credited Welsh and her colleagues with helping Citadel make $16bbn in profits last year.

This was partly achieved by the assiduous use of metadata to link risks in different dimensions. It was also down to some very big screens.

Citadel's Chicago office contains a 35-foot by eight foot floor-to-ceiling screen known affectionately as "the risk wall." The risk wall displays everything Welsh and her team need to know about stresses, liquidity and risk on one enormous screen. Citadel's office at 425 Park Avenue will contain something similar, but better. 

Welsh can be seen extolling the virtues of the new set-up in a video released by Citadel on YouTube.  "This is going to be the biggest concentration of the risk team ever in Citadel," she declares of Park Avenue. "We're going to have all of our risk managers across all of our businesses in here. We're going to have the quants, the engineers."

While Chicago has a big risk wall, Welsh says the Park Avenue office will have two risk walls and that they will be even bigger again. The walls aren't just visual screens, but touch screens, so that Welsh's team can physically interact with them while they evaluate risk scenarios. 

Engineers in banks have been known to complain about the size of their screens, and portfolio managers and traders have been known to boast about the size of their rigs. Citadel appears to have raised the stakes, although a 35-foot screen is not viable for everyone.  

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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