At Citadel Securities, the Best Idea Wins
Technology and electronic trading have made finance less of an old-boys-club, relationship-driven industry, according to Kelly Brennan, Head of Institutional Equities for Citadel Securities.
“Who you choose to trade with is increasingly driven by pure performance metrics, which continues to level the playing field,” she told Traders Magazine.
She thinks the financial services sector still has a way to go in terms of gender equality, but significant strides have certainly been made over the course of her career.
“Personally, I am proud to work at a firm that is a true meritocracy, where the best idea wins regardless of your background, tenure, or title,” she revealed.
“We’ve learned that if you bring brilliant people from various backgrounds together, encourage them to think big and empower them to make critical decisions, you’ll get transformative outcomes,” she added.
Brennan is responsible for Institutional Equities at Citadel Securities, as well as Citadel’s ETF platform and institutional ETF trading.
Her daily responsibilities include ensuring the maintenance at the highest level of operational robustness in the ETF platform and finding new ways in which they can use their liquidity provision capabilities to help global clients and partners.
Brennan won Excellence in ETFs Award at the Markets Media Group’s U.S. Women in Finance Awards 2020. She has played a leading role in growing the institutional ETF offering and integrating the buildout of the ETF business across trading, quant research and technology.
Prior to joining the firm, Brennan held a number of senior roles over nearly 13 years at Goldman Sachs, including managing teams both in Prime Brokerage and Equities Trading.
Brennan said that they are always looking for “new and even better ways” to serve their clients and partners, including institutional investors and banks, as their needs and the markets evolve.
“Our goal as a firm is to apply our trading acumen, best-in-class technology, and global platform to meet the complex liquidity needs of our clients and partners in all market conditions, across asset classes and geographies,” she said.
Brennan added that their clients rely on them for “sound execution advice, in-depth product knowledge, and competitive quotes”.
As Citadel Securities has grown into new business areas, they are able to use the scale and scope of the firm’s offerings to provide liquidity, transparency, and low costs to clients across a range of their needs, Brennan commented.
According to Brennan, Citadel Securities commits time and resources to providing opportunities for female employees to network with senior female leaders at the firm.
The firm also sponsors conferences like Grace Hopper, the world’s largest gathering of women in computing.
“This year we highlighted the empowerment of women in STEM and showcased distinct perspectives from accomplished women who have had remarkable careers,” Brennan said.
She added that Citadel Securities also partners with organizations like Thrive Scholars and the Greenwood Project to provide underprivileged, high-achieving students of color with the support to succeed at top colleges and to develop their careers.
“Many of those students this summer were female, which is exciting for me as someone who has always made it a point in my career to support and mentor the next generation of women in the financial services industry,” she concluded.