A Microsoft exec is making a surprise move to Wall Street, and it highlights how trading is changing

Kevin Turner CitadelCitadelB. Kevin Turner

Global securities firm Citadel has hired a new key executive — from Microsoft.

B. Kevin Turner, who was chief operating officer of Microsoft for 11 years, has joined Citadel as CEO of Citadel Securities, the hedge fund’s market making business, and vice chairman of Citadel.

“Kevin is a proven innovator who brings expertise in technology and operations with a client-first focus,” Citadel founder and CEO Kenneth Griffin said in a statement.

Before Microsoft, Turner spent nearly two decades at Walmart, where he worked his way up from a cashier to chief information officer and later president and CEO of the Walmart-owned retailer Sam’s Club.

“There is this real passion that Ken and the company has to build the most successful hedge fund and securities firm in the world — I love to work for companies that want and aspire to be the best,” Turner said in a video interview with Citadel.

Citadel Securities provides automated market making and execution services. It trades products including equities, equity options, and interest rate swaps for retail and institutional clients.

Last year, it ranked second on a list of the top
10 firms by volume traded on BrokerTec, an ICAP-owned trading platform for US Treasurys that is believed to make up 65% to 70% of interdealer market volumes. It is the largest designated market maker on the New York Stock Exchange, and recently acquired the equity-trading operations of Citigroup’s Automated Trading Desk division.

Turner’s hire comes at a time when technology is a much bigger part of the financial system. Six of the top eight hedge fund firms are quants, or managers who rely on computer programs to guide their investing.

The vast majority of stock trading is now completed electronically. Tech-driven high-frequency trader firms now dominate the US Treasury market. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have described themselves as technology companies.

He is the latest executive to make the jump from a technology company to a financial firm. Bridgewater in March hired computer scientist Jon Rubinstein as co-CEO, replacing longtime Bridgewater executive Greg Jensen in that role. Rubenstein spent nearly 16 years working alongside Steve Jobs, first at NeXT and then at Apple.

“I’m a competitive person by nature, and I have been in competitive companies, and I love to compete — joining a company where, certainly, there is a real fire in the belly to compete and bring that energy is something I look forward to,” Turner said.

NOW WATCH: We tested an economic theory by trying to buy people’s lottery tickets for much more than they paid

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.