Daniel Morillo, a former executive at the global hedge fund and asset management firm Citadel, is set to join Opendoor as the iBuying giant’s first chief investment officer. In the newly created role, Morillo will be tasked with leading the company’s pricing and data science efforts, according to CEO Eric Wu.
“As we look at our future plans to expand nationwide and service every single homeowner in the U.S., it is critical that we continue to deliver homeowners accurate and competitive offers for all home shapes, sizes, conditions and price points,” Wu said in a blog post announcing the hire.
[Morillo] will oversee the strategy and development of our pricing capabilities, as well as our data science initiatives,” Wu added. “Additionally, his experience will continue to deepen our analytical expertise in growth and marketing, product analytics and operational efficiency.”
The pricing of homes accurately is a foundation of Opendoor’s core business, which is to be able to make all-cash offers on homes, undertake some light renovation work and re-list the home quickly. It’s so integral that the inability to price in a COVID-19-impacted housing market was a main reason many of the iBuyers suspended homebuying in April.
“For our customers, certainty means knowing exactly what their house is worth, how much equity they can unlock, and the ability to move with confidence and peace of mind,” Wu wrote. “Pricing homes accurately is foundational to building our world-class business and building our trusted, more transparent, and more seamless experience.”
Morillo comes to Opendoor after five years at Citadel, where he most recently served as managing director and head of equity quantitative research. Prior to joining Citadel, he served as global head of investment research for iShares and the co-head of BlackRock’s model and portfolio solutions group.
Opendoor has made a number of changes to its c-suite in recent months. In early September, the company announced that Carrie Wheeler, a former leader with TPG Capital and Opendoor board member was joining the firm as chief financial officer while the company’s top finance executive, Gautam Gupta, was leaving to start his own company.
The company also announced that it would be going public via a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).