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Robinhood Reveals a Flurry of New Hires from SEC and Amazon

Commission-free investing app Robinhood today announced several appointments to its executive management team, including John Castelly who is joining as its Chief Compliance Officer.

Mr. Castelly is succeeding Scott Friedman who is taking a new advisory role as VP of Compliance Affairs. Friedman has been with Robinhood since inception where he led compliance affairs for both Robinhood Financial and Robinhood Securities.

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Formerly a Senior Attorney for TD Ameritrade’s retail operations, John has been in the financial business for more than 15 years, holding a variety of senior positions with big names such as Morgan Stanley, as well as nearly two years with the SEC.

The company has also added former KPMG executive Rich Jackson as VP of Risk and Compliance. Rich had previously spent eight years at the professional services giant, and the last 11 years in senior finance roles at Amazon.

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Robinhood newest hires also include ex-SEC’s deputy director of credit ratings Smeeta Ramarathnam. In her new role as VP of Legal and Regulatory, she will be tasked with managing the company’s regulatory relations, government and external affairs, and internal legal and compliance regulatory interpretation.

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Robinhood is one of the fastest-growing players in the red-hot financial technology segment. And as the company is moving closer towards going public, it has recently attracted a number of high-profile Wall Street’s experts, including Jason Warnick who spent 20 years at Amazon.

Robinhood’s offering is particularly popular among the “millennial” population, who ‎appreciate the ease of using the app to trade several asset classes without fees. As for the ‎crypto offering, the platform offers no-fee Bitcoin and Ethereum trading services.‎

Robinhood Crypto got off to a good start last year. It seeks to carve out its niche by letting traders ‎buy and sell ‎cryptocurrency for $0 a trade. In doing so, the ‎company makes ‎money from order flows, a ‎common tactic used by discount brokers to ‎generate ‎revenue by directing orders to certain trading venues. The ‎company also receives interest on unused cash deposits ‎from user accounts and offers a ‎premium paid account for ‎‎$10 per month, which gives users added features.‎

The seven-year-old startup has been able keep its free platform ‎afloat through compromises such as not having many physical ‎locations, maintaining only a small staff ‎for client service, ‎and not spending on massive promotional campaigns. ‎

Also in May 2018, Robinhood raised its latest round of funding, ‎bringing in $363 million at a $5.6 billion valuation. ‎