U.S. Markets

Citadel rehires Yeh as head of its quant unit

BOSTON (Reuters) - Hedge fund Citadel said it is making changes at the top of its global quantitative division by bringing back James Yeh to replace the current head who is retiring.

Jonathan Graham, who has headed the unit for four years, is leaving the $26 billion hedge fund to take a break from finance, Citadel spokesman Zia Ahmed said on Tuesday. Graham worked for Citadel for 13 years and is based in Chicago.

Graham had replaced Yeh four years ago when Yeh left Citadel.

Yeh earned a PhD in physics from the University of California - Berkeley and originally joined Citadel in 1993. He was responsible for helping to create the quantitative strategy in the mid-1990s and was its leader when he retired.

Now he will head the quant unit as well as oversee equity quantitative research and the global trading groups.

As one of the hedge fund industry’s largest firms, Citadel operates five strategies, including fixed income and macro, equities, credit, commodities and global quantitative.

Citadel’s flagship on-shore multi-strategy fund Wellington has returned 2.60 percent this year.

Quantitative strategies where computer models help traders earn above average market returns have become extremely popular among hedge funds and big-name firms, including Citadel, are in competition to hire the most talented new graduates.

Citadel, for example, has been stepping up its recruiting efforts by hosting competitions at universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and offering a $100,000 top prize for the winner in order to get students who are specializing in computer science and other technical fields to consider careers in finance.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz