Top finance news from week of Jan 11: Bonus season, Morgan Stanley MDs – Business Insider – Business Insider

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Hello, readers!

Happy Saturday, and welcome to Insider Finance. Here’s a rundown of the must-know stories from the past week:

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Robinhood has beefed up its legal firepower with these 11 lawyers, including SEC veterans and a Goldman Sachs in-house counsel

Vlad Tenev, co-founder and co-CEO of investing app Robinhood.

Vlad Tenev, co-founder and co-CEO of investing app Robinhood.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Over the past year, red-hot trading app Robinhood has hired lawyers and some of the most well-connected law firms in the US to negotiate deals, scale up its compliance efforts, and spar with regulators.

The company is also looking to make more hires, including lobbyists and lawyers who can advise on transactions, fundraising and the process of going public, job listings show.

Here’s who Robinhood has tapped as it gears up for a potential blockbuster IPO


Morgan Stanley MD promotions

FILE PHOTO: James P. Gorman, chairman & CEO of Morgan Stanley, testifies before a House Financial Services Committeeon Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

FILE PHOTO: James P. Gorman, chairman & CEO of Morgan Stanley, testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington
Reuters

Morgan Stanley just named 171 new managing directors, its largest pool of promotions in recent years.

At the firm, MD is the most senior designation underneath the C-suite, and among the most elite designations on all of Wall Street. Members of the new MD class this year have an average tenure of 10 years with Morgan Stanley.

Here’s the full list of names


Inside Roblox’s direct listing pivot

girl plays roblox

Alice Wilkinson (7) adds a face mask to her character on the game ‘Roblox’ at her home in Manchester, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Manchester, Britain, April 5, 2020.
Phil Noble/Reuters

Roblox said earlier this month that it would go public through a direct listing after massive first-day stock pops for Airbnb and DoorDash in December prompted it to scrap a traditional IPO.

After a review that lasted through the holidays, the gaming startup raised $520 million in a private share sale this month and began discussions with the SEC to shift its transaction into a direct listing. It’s also tapped GTS to serve as the designated market maker.

Here’s how the abrupt U-turn is shaking things up


Vista Equity Partners is folding alt-data shop 7Park into another one of its portfolio companies just 2 years after buying it for $100 million

hedge funds and alt data 4x3

Samantha Lee/Business Insider

7Park Data is shutting off its data streams to investors, its CEO informed clients on Friday, a day after Insider reported the firm would be absorbed by a fellow Vista Equity Partners portfolio company.

The company, which provided an array of novel data sets to prominent hedge funds, said it would shift its focus to «accelerating our acquirer’s core product roadmap» and would wind down or divest products that didn’t fit with that mission, according to a memo to clients from CEO Brian Lichtenberger.

«Effective today, 7Park Data will discontinue products we deliver to clients in the investment vertical,» Lichtenberger wrote. «I recognize that this may be disruptive information for you, your workflow, and your organization.»

Read more on the deal and what this means for 7Park’s current customers


5 big revelations in SoFi’s plans to go public, including how the fintech is thinking about the future of student debt and the importance of a bank charter

Chamath Palihapitiya

Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

You can add another deal to the growing SPAC frenzy.

Personal finance app SoFi announced plans in early January to go public via a merger with a SPAC backed by Social Capital head and billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya. The deal would value SoFi at nearly $9 billion.

SCH analyzed over 100 potential business combination targets, connecting with 33 of them to discuss a potential deal, a filing noted. 

Here’s a rundown of other key revelations from the paperwork


Other stories readers loved this week:

Elizabeth Holmes court Theranos

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court in San Jose, California, U.S., July 17, 2019.
Reuters/Stephen Lam
  • Theranos ‘dumped’ a useless, double-encrypted blood-test database on prosecutors, then destroyed the original, Feds say
  • Billionaire Seth Klarman’s Baupost returned less than 5% in 2020, failing to break double-digits returns in what’s been called the best year for hedge funds since 2009
  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon wants to win the war against fintechs, expecting ‘tough, brutal’ competition in the next 10 years
  • George Soros-backed fintech dv01 just raised more money and made a key acquisition. Here’s how it’s looking to shed light on the murky securities at the heart of the last financial crisis.

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