Citadel fired one of its newest employees today after allegedly discovering that he was speaking to rival firm Teza Technologies, the firm founded by Mikhail “$150 million in 2008” Malyshev.
Malyshev and Citadel have been in legal dispute for years now. When Malyshev and a colleague left Citadel in February 2009 to start their own fund, Citadel founder Ken Griffin sued him, arguing that he signed a non-compete. (Malyshev had made Citadel over $1 billion in 2008, taking home $150 million for himself, according to legal complaints.)
Now Citadel says it has phone records proving that one of its employees, a young engineer, spoke recently with Teza Tech.
Yihao Ben Pu, a 23-year old quantitative financial engineer, was hired last year to install programs on Citadel’s systems to get around security measure meant to prevent the transfer of data to other devices, according to Crain’s read of Citadel’s complaint against him.
But Citadel soon found that Pu used the security bypass to transfer “massive amounts of highly confidential” information about the firm’s tactical trading business to “at least two personal external devices,” says the complaint.
The firm also discovered that he has been in recent contact with Teza, according to the complaint.
Pu told Crains that what he did was more or less for work, and that he gave the personal devices to Citadel without being asked to. He also says that he was in contact with Teza because he was asking about hiring a lawyer. He says he thinks Citadel is “overreacting” and he hopes they can put this behind them soon.
Pu graduated from Cornell in 2009. He interned as an analyst for Kane Capital Management, and later worked atPalantir Technologies and Tradeworx.