Citadel and Reddit Executives Expected at GameStop Hearing

Kenneth C. Griffin, the billionaire hedge fund manager, may be among the executives who testify at next week’s Congressional hearing about the recent madcap trading in shares of GameStop that bruised many big investors, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Mr. Griffin’s firm, Citadel, was a central player in the GameStop drama both because of its investments and the role of its sister company, Citadel Securities, as a market maker in stocks. It was asked to make an executive available for the Feb. 18 hearing scheduled by the House Financial Services Committee, this person said, but the company is still waiting to hear whether the committee will call Mr. Griffin or another executive.

Steve Huffman, Reddit’s chief executive said on Thursday that the social-media network also planned to participate. Many of the small investors in GameStop gathered on Reddit’s WallStreetBets message board to egg each other on as they bid up the stock last month.

Citadel had told the committee that Joseph Mecane, a senior executive at Citadel Securities
who oversees the trading services it provides to companies like Robinhood, could appear instead, said the person. Citadel Securities is separate from the hedge fund and also founded by Mr. Griffin.

A representative for the House committee did not respond to requests for comment. Rep. Maxine Waters, the California Democrat who heads the committee, has said that she wants Vlad Tenev, the chief executive of Robinhood, to testify at the hearing.

She has also said she was considering asking the hedge fund Melvin Capital to testify.
Citadel’s hedge fund business and a group of partners invested $2 billion in Melvin after Melvin sustained enormous losses from a wager that shares of GameStop — which climbed from less than $100 to nearly $500 in just a few days — would fall.

Partly as a result of its bet against GameStop, Melvin ended January down more than 53 percent, The New York Times reported earlier this month, while Citadel, which had also bet against GameStop during its rise, ended the month down 3 percent.

Mr. Griffin was also exposed to the GameStop rally through Citadel Securities. Robinhood, the free online trading firm that fueled much of the trading in GameStop by amateur investors, makes money by sending buy and sell orders to Citadel Securities, which pays Robinhood for the order flow.

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