Guess Which Startup is Looking to Hire a Regulatory Counsel

Attention lawyers: Robinhood is hiring.

The mobile trading startup’s legal department seeks an attorney with “experience in securities and broker-dealer regulatory and compliance issues who is excited to work at the intersection of regulation, technology, and finance,” to become its regulatory counsel.

The job listing comes just a week after the company’s now infamous announcement of its plan to offer no-fee checking and savings accounts that pay a 3% interest rate. The announcement all but signaled the death of traditional banking in some circles, until it backfired.

After a brief moment in the sun, the idea was promptly and publicly shot down by the head of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a federally mandated nonprofit organization that protects investors from losses at member brokerage firms, who said no one had reached out to his agency about it. He said the new products proposed by Robinhood would not be protected as the startup had promised its customers.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of customers had already secured their place on the waiting list.

Robinhood co-founders and co-CEOs Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev later acknowledged the announcement “may have caused some confusion” and changed the name of their product to a “cash management” service.

“As a licensed broker-dealer, we’re highly regulated and take clear communication very seriously,” they wrote in an open letter. “We plan to work closely with regulators as we prepare to launch our cash management program, and we’re revamping our marketing materials, including the name.”

Robinhood is seeking an applicant who can:

  • Navigate complex regulatory frameworks to design innovative financial products and services.
  • Serve as a primary drafter for responses to regulatory inquiries from the SEC, FINRA, and other regulatory authorities.
  • Identify and draft necessary changes to the firm’s systems and procedures to meet the requirements of new rules/regulations.
  • Draft agreements, policies and procedures, disclosures, account documentation, and website materials.
  • Monitor SEC/FINRA and SRO rule developments and make resulting recommendations.
  • Research securities and brokerage questions and provide legal analysis and recommendations.

One of the skills the startup identified as “critical” to becoming its regulatory counsel is “expertise in researching, applying, and communicating legal requirements in the financial services space in a regulatory context.”

See the full job listing here.

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