Robinhood Expands Lobbying Footprint With In-House Registrations

  • Two register as lobbyists ahead of congressional hearings
  • Trading app already had four lobbying firms on retainer

Robinhood Markets Inc. registered its first in-house lobbyists as the trading company faces congressional criticism related to its actions during a Reddit-fueled stock buying spree.

Lucas Moskowitz, deputy general counsel of regulatory, litigation, and government affairs, and Beth Zorc, the associate general counsel for federal affairs, began working at Robinhood last year and, as of this month, are now registered to lobby, according to disclosures filed Monday.

Both have experience on the House Financial Services and Senate Banking panels, which are set to hold hearings about the frenzy surrounding a rally on certain stocks, including GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., in addition to the company’s relationship with other financial entities such as hedge funds and market makers.

Read More:GameStop Prompts Firms in Robinhood’s Orbit to Turn to K Street

Moskowitz, who served as chief investigative counsel for the Senate Banking Committee and counsel at the House Financial Services Committee, also had several high-level roles at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Zorc worked as a senior counsel to both financial panels.

The move to register signals the extent to which Robinhood has increased its engagement in Washington. One of the most important criteria of whether a person registers as a lobbyist is whether they spend 20% or more of their time contacting policymakers or high-level regulators.

Robinhood also hired four lobbying firms last summer: The Williams Group, Blue Ridge Law & Policy, Daily Consulting Group, and Thorn Run Partners.

Robinhood declined to comment on the registration.

Photo by Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Bipartisan Response

Lawmakers including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have questioned the trading app’s decision to halt trading on the stocks that surged. Robinhood argued it was only complying with regulations, such as capital requirements, put in place after the financial crisis.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is holding a hearing on the issue on Feb. 18. The Senate Banking Committee has yet to schedule its hearing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Megan R. Wilson in Washington at mwilson@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kyle Trygstad at ktrygstad@bgov.com; Bennett Roth at broth@bgov.com

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