Halo Investing, a Fast Growing FinTech Company, Hires 100 People This Year

Photo: HAlo Investing

There was a time when the stock market was only reserved for the richest people. When barriers to entry meant that only a small percentage of Americans had access to them and thus could ensure that their wealth lasted for generations.

Although this is still somewhat the case, shareholding is much more common than before. About 55% of Americans owned stocks in April 2020, which is considerably higher than the 4% of Americans who owned stocks in 1952. And with the rise of investment apps like Robinhood, M1 Finance, thinkorswim etc., the percentage of the US population that owns stocks may continue to grow.

But stocks aren’t the only way to invest your money for long-term growth. And they’re not the only financial tool the rich have better access to.

“The wealth gap in this country must be resolved. And I think part of the wealth gap problem that we’re seeing in America is the lack of sufficient savings products, “Jason Barsema told Built In.” Because the rich have structured notes, hedge funds and alternative investments that mitigate volatility, but not the rest of us.

Barsema is the co-founder and chairman of Halo Investing, a Chicago-based fintech company that provides better access to structured notes by automating the manual processes behind them and removing minimums.

Buying a structured ticket is a lot like buying insurance for your investment. They are issued by a financial institution to an investor to protect against market downturns. Essentially, an investor will buy a structured note for a specific asset like a stock or index, gain protection against some downside, and set the time horizon for that note’s maturity.

For example, let’s say you buy a structured note for your Apple stock with 30% downside protection and a two-year term. Two years later, if Apple stock has fallen less than 30%, you are protected and get your original investment back. If Apple stock drops more than 30%, you pay the difference. If the Apple stock goes up, you share the profits with the financial institution to pay the structured note.

If you didn’t know it was one thing, you are not alone. Although structured notes have been around for decades, they are only available to high net worth investors and cost around $ 3 million minimum. Needless to say, most people don’t have that much money for a protective investment.

“Structured notes are not only important, but they are the last bastion of financial markets that has not been disrupted and democratized. That’s why we saw this really important need to address this wealth gap and savings gap issue with the products we have, ”Barsema said. “The structured note market is a $ 3 trillion market that 99% of the world does not have access to. So it’s interesting to think about what we can do if we make it open to everyone.

halo investment team photo on zoom
Photo: Halo Investing

A lot of people bought into the idea of ​​Halo Investing, and the business has grown significantly as a result.

At this time, the Halo Investing platform is only available to financial advisers, wealth managers, private banks and registered investment advisers. Since the official launch of its product in 2017, Halo Investing now has more than 30 global banks and 6,500 advisers on its platform. It has grown from $ 0 in transactions in 2017 to $ 3.5 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach $ 11 billion in 2021. This number is also expected to continue to increase in the future. Barsema has hinted that Halo Investing may open its platform to the general public – not just financial advisers – in the future.

With this growth in customer base, Halo Investing also had to grow as a business. The company had 35 employees in May 2020, and now a year later, its workforce is around 120 people. Halo Investing also has offices around the world, with locations in Denver, Zurich, Dubai and Singapore, in addition to its headquarters in Chicago.

Now the company is looking to continue this aggressive hiring wave. Barsema told Built In that Halo Investing is looking to hire an additional 100 people this year and grow into a company of 200 to 250 people by the end of the year. He expects Halo Investing to employ between 500 and 1,000 employees within 18 to 24 months.

This hiring frenzy will involve roles at all levels, from sales to operations and more. The company also places particular emphasis on hiring engineers for its team. Most of these roles will be based in Chicago, but some will be based in the company’s international offices. Barsema also mentioned that Halo Investing gives its employees the ability to visit its international offices as a perk.

Barsema attributes this rapid growth to having the right product at the right time, but also being a mission-driven company dedicated to closing financial gaps.

“It’s crazy. From 2017 to 2018, we increased by about 300%. From 2018 to 2019, we increased by about 300%. From 2019 to 2020, we increased by 550%. And now, from 2020 to 2021 we are going to grow by around 400%, “Barsema told Built In.” It has really been a blessing. There really is no other way to describe it. But I think it is. is important that we have a good mission and that we are honest and ethical in what we do. This is really what our generation deserves. And this is what our generation needs. “

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