Citadel logoIt has been a modest-kept secret for some time. Remco Lenterman will join the London office of Citadel. As soon as he is ready tending his garden (when non-compete expires).

He left IMC back in August 2015. Earlier he worked for Kempen & Co and of course Goldman Sachs. He started for GS somewhere in the eighties. Long time ago, different world. Lenterman is outspoken in a secretive industry. Very active on twitter (@), where he is one of the few reasonable defenders of HFT. Usually poking fun at Hunsader.

Remco Lenterman politely declined to comment on the matter. But he will remain active on Twitter. Citadel has been recruiting aggressively for their London office. In October 2015 Citadel hired Brian Oliver, coming from JP Morgan. Lenterman will start in August 2016.

Elsewhere in London

Lenterman was involved in buying the seats from Goldman Sachs on the NYSE by IMC. A few weeks ago another HFT shop, Global Trading Systems (GTS), bought seats at the Big Board from Barclays. I remember Barclays once took over Van der Moolen’s remaining specialist spots.

Global Trading Systems (what a fancy unique name for a trading firm) is also having an office in London. Curiously, GTS is sharing an office with another familiar name : Tibra Trading. Word is Tibra decided to focus on option trading. And they are printing a lot of money.

Alas, not all is going well for Tibra. In February they shut down their US trading office. Was first reported on this website with this comment on February 12. Wasn’t a large office, only employing five people (probably to keep a legal entity). Most of the Tibra staff remain down under in the Australian headquarters (200 people). In London the group claims to employ over 100 people.

Elsewhere on the English countryside

When you’re interested in the physical part of high frequency trading – the microwave dishes to get the fast connections – Alexandre Laumonier is your man. Digging in archives, visiting towers and becoming expert.

He discovered Vigilant Global, a part of trading firm DRW, was about to build a tower in a quiet English village called Ash. He has a hilarious transcript of the meeting between Vigilant Global and some of the people in the village, in the library hall. Turns out some villagers did some research. Here for Alexandre’s full story.

Things started to get difficult at 14:49: a resident asks Mr. Vigilant if they will use microwaves on the tower, and Mr. Vigilant give this answer: “We will use radio waves… but I’m afraid I’m not engineer, but if you want specific questions I can bring your questions to our transmission panel…”, and the resident answers back, “I already sent emails but I got no reactions…”. At 14:39, the same resident asks if the mast “will be used for high-frequency trading”, and Mr. Vigilant responds: “It will to be used to transfer data… and high-frequency trading makes probably 3 or 4% of Vigilant activities… as we also have a real estate business and…” [Hum hum… 3-4%? Is icredible to spend millions of dollars on a mast if HFT activities only account for 3-4%? It’s a little bit strange.] Next question of the resident: “Will the mast to be used for high-frequency trading?”; Mr. Vigilant’s answer: “I need to check with the traders and come back…” [???].

Things got worse at 15:57.

  • Resident: “Is the mast part of a HFT network between London and Frankfurt?” [well, given that Vigilant never referred to HFT in their public document, I realized that this resident was well informed]
  • Mr. Vigilant: “It’s a network between UK and Belgium, yes” [WFT]
  • Resident: “And doesn’t go to Frankfurt?
  • Mr. Vigilant: “I’m not sure where it’s passing…” [WTF bis]
  • Resident: “Well… so you are not that well aware of high-frequency trading, I see…” [pow pow pow, take that Mr. Vigilant]
  • Resident: “Where in Belgium does it go to?
  • Mr Vigilant: “I think we have provided a map… or certainly it will be map in the planning application” [ok. so, now there is a network, and a map? if it exists, it’s obviously not in the planning application]
  • Resident: “You already have a connection from the continent to England? It goes by the Two Sisters I think…” [the Two Sisters refers to the two towers in Swingate, near Dover, where some HFT had put dishes; from that I began to think that 1) this resident did intensive researches on the HFT microwave networks, or 2) he found some information on a blog]
  • Mr. Vigilant:  “No, no…” [ohhhhh… what about the Nova Scotia application?]
  • Resident: “Vigilant as a mast in Duinkerk [Dunkerque, France]? Or transmitters there?
  • Mr. Vigilant: “The mast in the center of Duinkerk? No, we don’t have any equipment there” [fair enough… that’s possible]
  • Resident: “And the one in Houtem, in Belgium?” [Houtem!]
  • Mr. Vigilant: “I’m afraid I can’t comment on that…” [???]
  • […]
  • Resident: “What is the fastest way of communication for high-frequency trading?
  • Mr. Vigilant: “I would have to ask…” [uh?]
  • Resident: “I can assure you: it’s microwave” [true]

Developing story for DRW

It doesn’t end here, it’s a developing story. This is getting interesting: