Robinhood adds ex-TD Ameritrade Steve Quirk as broker eyes vanilla strategy

Rick Steves

2021 was quite a ride for Robinhood as the trading platform experienced record growth in volumes and accounts but also strong pushback from investors who suffered from trading disruptions earlier that year. 

Robinhood has appointed Steve Quirk as its chief brokerage officer, a newly created position where he will oversee the company’s broker-dealers, Robinhood Financial and Robinhood Securities.

The former executive vice president of trading and education at TD Ameritrade has more than 35 years of brokerage experience and he had a key role in the development of thinkorswim’s trading technology for investors.

Steve Quirk joins Robinhood after 14 years at TD Ameritrade – thinkorswim

Steve Quirk joins Robinhood after more than 14 years at TD Ameritrade. The broker-dealer was acquired by Charles Schwab (SCHW) in 2020, which led him to leave along with some other top executives.

The $22 billion acquisition has created an online brokerage behemoth with nearly $7 trillion in client assets and more than 30 million brokerage accounts.

As to thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade’s retail trading platform has been upgraded to feature a more personal, mobile-friendly experience as trading went mobile in 2021. Mobile trading surpassing desktop devices for the first time on thinkorswim.

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Robinhood going for steady earnings

2021 was quite a ride for Robinhood as the trading platform experienced record growth in volumes and accounts but also strong pushback from investors who suffered from trading disruptions earlier that year.

The company is looking to address its weaknesses and, to that effect, is adding a top executive with decades of traditional brokerage experience, and introducing new tools to guide investors into more standard investing techniques.

As part of a much more plain-vanilla strategy, Robinhood is launching a basket of exchange-traded funds. Adding an ETF package might help produce steady earnings as more than three-quarters of Robinhood’s revenue comes from transactions.

“The recommended ETFs will give customers exposure to a diverse set of domestic and international equities as well as exposure to the U.S. bond market”, the firm said.

Robinhood has also taken care of execution quality on its crypto offering by acquiring Cove Markets, a cross-exchange trading platform that makes it easier for people to manage their crypto accounts.

Most recently, the broker-dealer announced the upcoming beta launch of its cryptocurrency wallets a project first unveiled in September to allow customers to trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies using the Robinhood app.

The zero commission trading platform will launch the wallets beta phase in mid-January, which will roll out to thousands of customers from the waitlist.

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