Robinhood brokerage firm creates 400 jobs in Charlotte

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Robinhood co-founders Vlad Tenev, left, and Baiju Bhatt pose at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Robinhood creates hundreds of jobs as part of an expansion in Charlotte.

PA

The Robinhood stock trading app will create nearly 400 jobs and invest $ 11.7 million in a new customer support and account operations center it will open in Charlotte, city officials said on Tuesday. and the state.

It is the latest and one of the most prominent FinTech companies to settle in the region.

Robinhood made national headlines and was embroiled in a controversy over the restrictions it placed on the purchase of shares in certain companies during a GameStop trading frenzy.

The company will receive up to $ 3.7 million in incentives from the city and state, although the bulk of the funds come from the state.

Robinhood’s jobs in Charlotte include analysts, customer service staff and operations staff, according to a statement from Governor Roy Cooper’s office.

The average salary for the positions is just over $ 76,000, state officials said at a meeting of the Economic Investment Committee. And they said Charlotte was competing with places like Denver, Colorado, Fort Mill, SC and Tempe, Arizona for expansion.

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Robinhood, which is opening an office in Charlotte, has been embroiled in a controversy over the restrictions it placed on the purchase of shares in certain companies during a GameStop trading frenzy. Patrick sison PA

“An easy choice”

The deal with a Silicon Valley company comes several years after Charlotte’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters was rejected, in large part because of what Amazon told local officials as a lack of talent. technological. Since then, Microsoft, online mortgage lender Better.com, and other tech companies have grown in the region.

“Charlotte is known for her talented and diverse workforce, which makes her an easy choice as we look to expand our operations,” said Alex Mesa, head of customer experience at Robinhood, in a statement. hurry.

Officials have not disclosed the location of Robinhood’s new office. Robinhood spokesperson Chantal De Soto said in an email that the company still chooses the site, but its temporary and permanent offices will be located in the central business district.

She said the company expects to have at least 150 employees in the region by the end of the year and that it will have space for 250 people with the possibility of expanding.

County records show there is a permit for the current office tower at 650 South Tryon Street titled “Robinhood – Office Upfit.”

Local media reported last week about Robinhood’s search for real estate, and the Observer confirmed in the first public interview with an official directly involved in the deal that the announcement was scheduled for Tuesday.

We intentionally want to plant this tech city flag, ”said Fran West, deputy director of economic development for Charlotte, in an interview. “I think it continues to show that the talent is there. “

Robinhood controversy

Robinhood, which is considering an IPO, pioneered the concept of commission-free trading, forcing other brokers to follow suit in order to compete.

But the company has also been at the center of the controversy surrounding the trade restrictions it enacted amid the GameStop frenzy.

Traders using websites like Reddit to share advice fueled a January increase in the stock price of video game retailer GameStop earlier this year.

Many hedge funds had bet that the price of GameStop shares would drop, a practice known as short selling. The rapid rise in the price of GameStop shares caused these funds to lose large sums of money and they were forced to buy back shares due to their losses.

Amid the mania, Robinhood and other brokers limited the purchase of GameStop shares. The move drew strong reprimands from members of Congress and others.

Commercial clearing houses, the intermediary between buyers and sellers, have deposit requirements for Robinhood and other brokers. Robinhood said it restricted trading because those deposit requirements became higher than expected.

Robinhood continued to be criticized, and CEO Vlad Tenev apologized at a congressional hearing in February. The company has also been the subject of dozens of lawsuits.

West said she was not deterred by the Robinhood scandals. Incentives provided by both city and state are granted over time, and only if companies meet certain hiring requirements.

“I didn’t see this as a detractor for quality jobs for Charlotte residents, ”she said.

This story was originally published 30 March 2021 11:18 a.m.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She graduated in 2018 from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and California Transplant.


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