Robinhood hires compliance chiefs for its financial and securities units

Robinhood has hired two chief compliance officers (CCOs) this week — one to lead compliance of its stocks unit and another for its securities offerings. Norm Ashkenas will head up Robinhood Financial, and Kelly Zigaitis will join Robinhood Securities.

In a Thursday announcement, the firm said both Ashkenas and Zigaitis will join their respective departments in September. Ashkenas is a Fidelity alum, serving most recently as senior vice president and head of compliance for Fidelity Institutional and Fidelity Brokerage Technology. Ashkenas has been with Fidelity since 2003.

Zigaitis joins from Wells Fargo Advisors, where she was previously Head of Oversight and Controls. Prior to her time with Wells Fargo, she wore a number of hats at TD Ameritrade, eventually as the CCO of its acquired Scottrade. 

The hiring of Zigaitis and Ashkenas comes at a time when Robinhood has taken heat for its practice of payment for order flow. Regulatory filings showed that electronic market-making firms paid Robinhood nearly $100 million in fees for stock and options order flow.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined the firm over a million for failures related to best execution in 2016 and 2017. Since then, Robinhood has updated these systems.

In addition to rounding out its compliance leadership, the announcement also indicated Robinhood is working on building out a customer support team.