Robin Hood Coop (full name: Robin Hood Asset Management Cooperative) is a hedge fund with a twist. In fact, three twists. First, it is a cooperative. Individuals who buy shares become members and decide how the coop is run. One member, one vote. Second, per the Robin Hood principle, part of the profit generated by the fund is invested into projects building the commons. Third, the money put into the fund is placed in the stock exchange by an algorithm called “the parasite”.
1 The Coop
What is it?
Robin Hood Asset Management Cooperative (RHC) was founded in 2012. Its homestead is Finland, and it is incorporated as a cooperative according to Finnish and EU legislation. According to its statutes, the members meeting of the coop is omnipotent. Each member has one vote in the meeting. The coop has given its board and managing director the powers to take care of the day-to-day operations of the coop.
Becoming a member means paying a one-time membership fee of 30€, and getting one obligatory membership share of 30€. So with total 60€ you become a full member of the coop, and get 30€ invested in the fund. After that, you can buy as many voluntary shares as you like.
What does it do?
- Manages the coop assets
- Accepts new members
- Offers new voluntary shares to members
- Invests in commons building projects
- Develops Robin Hood through open offices
- Maintains the coop’s websites and social media accounts
How does it do it?
Compared to the majority of hedge funds, the cost structure of RHC is ridiculous: The managing director, the vice managing director and the members of the board work on a voluntary basis. Some of their costs (such as travel to offices, communication costs, stationery, etc.) is renumerated, but no one gets a salary. The developer and maintainer of the parasite, Sakari Virkki, is paid an agreed-upon fee. For various tasks, including website management, organisation of offices, PR and sales, and so on, RHC relies on the temporary contributions of its volunteer members; these tasks are organised primarily via the forums at discourse.robinhoodcoop.org
2 The Commons
What do we mean by the commons? Our definition is very comprehensive. The project can be anywhere in the world and on any sector of human life, provided that it generates – not only for itself, but to everyone – shared space, resources or means of production. When buying shares, members can choose how much of the profit generated by by their shares they keep, and how much goes to the project fund. 10/90, 50/50 or 80/20, it is up to you. Members choose their level of altruism, and they also propose the projects to be invested in.
3 The Parasite
The parasite is a patented algorithm developed by ex-fighter pilot and IT wizard Sakari Virkki who also maintains and oversees it for the coop. In qualitative terms, the parasite listens to the feed of the NYSE, watching for traders and what they trade. Then it competency ranks traders, identifying ones that are constantly making money on specific stocks. When it sees that a consensus is forming among such competent traders, it follows.