Robinhood makes key appointments in latest crack at UK market

The US share trading app has failed in its previous attempts to crack the UK market, but is building its team for another go.
Robinhood makes key appointments in latest crack at UK market

US share trading app Robinhood has made several key appointments to its UK team, ahead of its latest attempt to crack the market.

Robinhood has appointed top lawyer Olibhia McGinley as assistant general counsel, according to LinkedIn.

The role of assistant general counsel is tasked with protecting a business’s legal interests.

McGinley previously spent eight years at the UK regulator, the FCA, working in enforcement & markets oversight and as a senior associate on the regulator’s banking and lending policy.

Robinhood, famous for introducing commission-free trading to the US market, has also appointed former Stripe and Wise executive Erle Salujõe as operations lead in the UK, according to LinkedIn.

Salujõe joins Robinhood from Stripe, where she was a programme manager, before which she was operations manager at Yapily.

She has also worked as a bank implementation manager at Wise.

Another appointment is that of Oliver Rodwell, who has taken on the role of Robinhood UK’s money laundering reporting officer.

Rodwell previously worked as head of compliance at the fintech Plum.

The US trading app’s latest crack at the UK market is being headed up by Jordan Sinclair, a former Barclays and Freetrade executive, who fills the role of Robinhood’s UK CEO.

Bert Van Delft, who spent nine and a half years with Saxo Bank Nederland, has been with Robinhood since 2019, is Robinhood UK’s CCO, according to LinkedIn.

Another key Robinhood executive involved in its UK venture is JB Mackenzie, who is thought to be playing a key role overseeing its UK launch.

According to the FCA database, Robinhood's UK registered address is 70 St Mary Axe, City of London, a central London office complex informally known as the Can of Ham due to its shape.

It is still unclear when exactly Robinhood, which is publicly listed with a value of around $11.5 billion, is relaunching its proposition in the UK. However, the firm is actively recruiting specifically noting, "We’re thrilled to be expanding this year as Robinhood is hiring world-class talent in the UK. Our team of Hoodies in the UK will enable Robinhood to continue creating great financial products on our journey towards democratising finance for all."

In its Q2 earnings call this year, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev said it was to be “around the end of the year”.

Tenev said:

“We remain focused on our ambitious goal of launching brokerage operations in the UK around the end of the year.

“We’re getting even more excited to drive innovation in the UK market like we’ve done in the US.”

Robinhood retreated from plans to launch in the UK in 2020 amid regulatory scrutiny in the US and the Covid pandemic.

A further attempt to crack the UK market through a planned acquisition of crypto business Ziglu was eventually abandoned.

Tenev also said its existing licence and brand recognition would help underpin Robinhood's UK launch, where it will compete against the likes of Freetrade, Monzo, and US rivals like Public, as well as legacy players such as Hargreaves Lansdown.

Robinhood declined to comment.

Lead image via Robinhood and James Giddins

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