Hedge Fund Citadel To Lease More HK Office Space
HONG KONG – Citadel and Citadel Securities, which is controlled by hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, have agreed to lease more office space in Hong Kong, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday (27 July, SGT).
In particular, hedge fund Citadel committed to lease the entire level 59 spanning 22,000 sq ft at the Two IFC, while market maker Citadel Securities agreed to occupy the similarly sized 42nd floor. This is in addition to their existing office on level 3.
Notably, sources revealed that the two firms increased their manpower in Asia Pacific by over 60 percent to around 350 staff in the past 18 months, and Hong Kong employees make up about 71 percent of that.
The Miami-based companies are aggressively expanding in the Chinese territory at a time when foreign businesses have moved resources away from Hong Kong or have exited. For example, Bloomberg reported in May that Carl Huttenlocher’s hedge fund firm Myriad Asset Management Ltd intends to close its office in the city as the city’s stringent COVID-19 rules made travel difficult.
While Hong Kong is the Asian headquarters for Citadel and Citadel Securities, the commercial hub is facing a talent shortage because of an intensifying political crackdown and harsh COVID policies.
The Chinese territory’s market watchdog announced earlier this year that it had lost one-fourth of its junior professional staff, and warned that Hong Kong’s status as an international financial hub was in peril.
Still, Hong Kong’s status as a gateway to China is hard to dismiss and several multinational companies remain upbeat. For example, Standard Chartered’s CEO Bill Winters, told Bloomberg TV earlier this month that the bank had seen more expatriates entering the city than leaving in the past year or so.
In February, Citigroup said it increased its employees in the city by over 300 in the past 12 months, a third of which were hired or transferred from overseas.
This has provided some relief for Hong Kong’s office landlords, as the office vacancy in the city hit a record high in December, with several companies surrendering workspace. For instance, sources revealed in June that Haitong International Securities Group gave up office space in a building at the edge of Central. In recent years, Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas also relinquished floors in their headquarters here.