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Citadel Securities Hires Ex-CFTC Chairman Tarbert as Legal Chief

April 1, 2021, 5:00 PM

Citadel Securities hired Heath Tarbert, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as its chief legal officer.

Tarbert led the nation’s main derivatives regulator from 2019 until January, when he became a commissioner. He previously served as a senior official in the Treasury Department, and before that led the bank-regulatory practice at law firm Allen & Overy LLP. He’ll start at Citadel Securities on April 5 and be based in Chicago, according to a statement Thursday.

Heath Tarbert
Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Founded by billionaire Ken Griffin, Citadel Securities has faced intense scrutiny since this year’s rally in so-called meme stocks hyped on Reddit boards. U.S. lawmakers grilled Griffin in February about the market maker’s role in the GameStop saga, and some Democrats have pushed for policy changes after the period of frenzied trading, including a tax on financial transactions or curbing practices such as short selling and payment for order flow.

“Citadel Securities has been a leading advocate for open and transparent markets,” Tarbert said in the statement. “I look forward to working with its outstanding team to build upon the firm’s track record of creating better markets for investors.”

As CFTC chief, Tarbert tried to raise the agency’s profile and highlight the role derivatives play in the economy. The regulator levied significant fines against Wall Street firms accused of wrongdoing, including joining other federal agencies in a record $920 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in September to resolve spoofing allegations.

He also pushed through a flurry of policy changes, including limits on hedge funds’ bets in oil futures and a pared-back approach to policing overseas swaps trades, that were opposed by the commission’s Democrats as being too deferential to industry.

Citadel Securities’ general counsel, Steve Luparello, will step down from his duties this week and stay on as an adviser until he retires at the end of the year. Luparello previously served as director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s trading and markets division, which regulates and sets policies for exchanges, broker-dealers and other market participants.

--With assistance from Lydia Beyoud and Ben Bain.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Lananh Nguyen in New York at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Sally Bakewell at sbakewell1@bloomberg.net

Steve Dickson, Daniel Taub

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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