Ken Griffin, the billionaire owner of hedge fund Citadel and high-speed trading firm Citadel Securities, is prepared to tell lawmakers Thursday that the trading firm helped meet retail investors’ needs during the surge in trading of GameStop (GME) and other “meme” stocks, but “had no role” in Robinhood’s decision to restrict trading of those stocks.
“I first learned of Robinhood’s trading restrictions only after they were publicly announced,” Griffin said in prepared testimony. “All of us at Citadel Securities are committed to the healthy functioning of the U.S. equities markets.”
The relationship between Robinhood and Griffin’s financial empire is likely to face scrutiny during Thursday’s hearing.
According to Griffin’s testimony, Citadel Securities is the largest market maker in the US equities market. On January 27, as GameStop stock price peaked, the firm executed 7.4 billion shares on behalf of retail investors — more than the average daily volume of the entire US equities market in 2019, he wrote.
Like Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev, Griffin also plans to make a case for shortened equities settlement cycles.