TradeZero hires Leo Ciccone as Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for TradeZero Canada

Rick Steves

“Leo brings to TradeZero broad and comprehensive experience coupled with deep business and regulatory relationships that will assist us in ensuring we meet and exceed industry best practices and to further our growth initiatives going forward,”

In a move that underscores the increasing regulatory scrutiny facing online trading platforms, TradeZero Holding Corp., a leading operator of next-generation trading platforms, has appointed Leo Ciccone as the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for TradeZero Canada Securities ULC. Ciccone, a seasoned professional with over three decades of experience in compliance, risk, and governance, brings a wealth of expertise to TradeZero as it aims to adhere to evolving industry standards.

Ciccone’s track record includes extensive senior leadership roles with investment dealers in both Canada and the United States. He has worked in collaboration with business leaders and regulators to ensure that compliance measures meet the high standards set by the industry.

A critical time for broker-dealers

“Leo brings to TradeZero broad and comprehensive experience coupled with deep business and regulatory relationships that will assist us in ensuring we meet and exceed industry best practices and to further our growth initiatives going forward,” said Dan Pipitone, CEO of TradeZero Holding Corp.

This appointment comes at a critical time for broker-dealers, especially those operating online platforms for retail investors. Regulatory environments have been tightening, putting the onus on trading platforms to ensure they are fully compliant with existing rules while also being prepared for future regulatory changes.

Before his appointment at TradeZero Canada, Ciccone served in dual roles as both Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Financial Officer for various bank-owned and independent dealers. He remains active in the investment community, serving on regulatory disciplinary committees and industry sub-committees. His experience in multiple aspects of compliance, from governance to risk assessment, makes him well-suited to guide TradeZero in its compliance efforts.

TradeZero Holding Corp. owns a series of broker-dealers, including TradeZero America, which is a member of several major U.S. exchanges such as The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. Its suite of platforms aims to serve active retail traders, offering innovative features for stock shorting among other capabilities.

SEC fined TradeZero America $100,000 for lying about meme stock trading halts

Last year, TradeZero America and its co-founder, Daniel Pipitone, were sued by the SEC for deceiving customers about the meme stock trading halts. According to the agency, they falsely stated that they didn’t restrict the customers’ purchases of meme stocks when in fact they did, back in January 2021.

At the apex of the meme stock trading frenzy of late January 2021, many brokers restricted investors’ ability to purchase a group of such volatile stocks. On January 28, 2021, TradeZero was allegedly instructed by its clearing broker not to allow its customers to purchase three meme stocks. The broker complied for about 10 minutes.

After the halt, TradeZero and Pipitone made misleading public statements via interviews, social media, and in a press release in an effort to distinguish their company from brokers that restricted trading during that period, the SEC stated.

Without admitting or denying the charges, TradeZero and Pipitone agreed to a cease-and-desist order, retention of an independent compliance consultant to ensure future compliance with the federal securities laws, a $100,000 penalty for TradeZero, and a $25,000 penalty for Pipitone.

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