Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

Robert Trigaux

Robert Trigaux joined the Times as a business writer in 1991. In 2000, he began writing a business column three times a week. He served as business editor from 2005 to 2008, when he resumed his role as business columnist. While at the Times, he has covered a range of beats including banking and finance, technology, telecommunications, energy and economic development. He has received various awards for business writing, including two Green Eyeshades from the Society of Professional Journalists, a commendation for column writing from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and a first place in business columns from the National Association of Newspaper Columnists.

In the late 1970s, Robert started his business journalism career in New York writing for various business publications covering topics from technology to the furniture industry. At the American Banker, a daily national newspaper, he covered the financial industry in New York and London, then served for eight years as its bureau chief in Washington, D.C. He holds an economics degree from Colgate University.

Phone: (727) 893-8405

Email: trigaux@tampabay.com

Blog: Venture

Twitter: @VentureTampaBay

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  1. Metro magnets for boomers, millennials are far apart

    Business

    They are heading for very different parts of the country for very different reasons. Census numbers for 1,800 U.S. counties analyzed by RealtyTrac show that between 2007 and 2013, baby boomers — those born from 1946 through 1964 — are moving to less-populated areas that have slower home price appreciation. Popular destinations include quieter parts of Florida's west coast.

    In contrast, millennials — those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s — are attracted to markets with better job and income prospects and lower unemployment, but that tend to have higher rental rates and higher home price appreciation. ...

  2. What lurks behind the Tampa Bay area's GDP stats

    Business

    At first glance, Tampa Bay's $115 billion gross domestic product, a measure of this metro area's economic output of goods and services last year, seems quite respectable, growing 2.3 percent in 2013. After all, the nation's 300-plus metro areas combined averaged just 1.7 percent growth.

    Based on that comparison alone, we should cheer our economic competitiveness, right?

    Hold the applause....

    $55,430
  3. Years after $62 million judgment, Paul Bilzerian is alive and well on Caribbean island

    Markets

    Those around long enough in Tampa Bay might recall disgraced corporate raider Paul Bilzerian as the maverick who made millions and built a 10-bedroom castle with an indoor basketball court in Tampa's tony Avila community.

    Convicted of fraud in 1989, he was sentenced initially to four years in prison and ultimately served 13 months. In 1992, the Securities and Exchange Commission won a $62 million judgment from him for illegal stock manipulation....

    Paul Bilzerian owes the SEC $62 million but paid very little of that.
  4. Roly-poly no more, muscled Captain Citrus unveiled to boost OJ sales

    Agriculture

    Roly-poly Captain Citrus has been working out at the gym. With the likes of Iron Man and Captain America.

    The Florida Department of Citrus, together with Disney-owned Marvel Custom Solutions, unveiled a $1 million redesign of a now buff Captain Citrus on Tuesday at Heroes' Haven Comics in Tampa.

    "Transformed from a life-sized orange into a young man mysteriously powered by the sun, the newly imagined Captain Citrus is a sculpted hero clad in a muscle-skimming citrus-hued suit," says the citrus industry of its new hero....

    Captain Citrus, before his Marvel makeover. [Florida Department of Citrus]
  5. Trigaux: Detailed peek inside ailing Olive Garden chain sheds light on tough economic trends

    Business

    When unhappy investors start dinging a restaurant chain for serving too many breadsticks or too much salad dressing at once, for failing to salt cooking water for pasta, and for using too-costly "to go" bags, is an overhaul far behind?

    The once popular, now stumbling Olive Garden chain was targeted this past week by an activist investor group trying to put its own directors on the board of the chain's struggling parent, Darden Restaurants in Orlando. To emphasize its dissatisfaction, investor group Starboard Value produced a 294-slide presentation aimed at Darden shareholders slated to vote for new company board members next month....

    The once popular, now stumbling Olive Garden  chain was targeted this past week by an activist investor group trying to put its own directors on the board of the chain's struggling parent, Darden Restaurants in Orlando. [MELISSA LYTTLE   |   Times]
  6. Tampa Bay's creating more successful startups, but can it keep more of them?

    Business

    This is Todd Goldberg's rapid entrepreneurial trajectory.

    It's a rocket shot that went from graduating as a University of Florida engineer in 2012 to working here at Nielsen Co. to co-founding a Tampa Bay startup to getting his business bought this past week by multibillion-dollar Ticketmaster, the kingpin of concert-entertainment-sports ticket sales and distribution.

    "If you were offered an opportunity to do something you love every day even though the odds for success were heavily skewed against you, would you go for it?" So begins Goldberg's personal blog from August 2013....

    Todd Goldberg’s startup, now called Eventjoy, was started in Tampa Bay but relocated.
  7. Ticketmaster deal to buy St. Petersburg startup is a good sign for Tampa Bay entrepreneurs

    Business

    News like this is what makes Tampa Bay entrepreneurs dream and try harder.

    Ticketmaster, the nation's juggernaut in ticket sales and distribution, said Thursday that it has acquired Eventjoy, a provider of a free digital ticketing platform for event organizers that launched in St. Petersburg.

    The move is good news for anyone involved in the bay area's startup community, which continues to fight for attention, credibility and — of course — investor money....

  8. First six inducted into Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

    Business

    They gathered in Tampa to celebrate a Florida Dream Team of remarkable people for their inspiration — and perspiration. Surprise: This team has (almost) nothing to do with sports.

    Six Florida inventors were inducted Wednesday evening into the new Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. Some of them — especially Thomas Alva Edison — are familiar to many. Others toil under the public radar, like many creators of life-changing inventions....

    Inventor of electric light and motion pictures, Thomas Alva Edison spent many winters in Fort Myers with his wife.
  9. 'Wolf of Wall Street' to kick off U.S. redemption tour at Ruth Eckerd

    Business

    It isn't every day that a boy born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, who once sold meat door to door, and who built a brokerage firm in his 20s that prospered and then imploded from excess and fraud ends up in prison owing investors millions of dollars.

    And it's even less common that the same guy writes a confessional memoir behind bars about his drug-and-sex-addled, high-flying brokerage days. That book ends up being turned into an Academy Award-nominated Martin Scorsese movie in 2013 starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the bigger-than-life boy from the boroughs of New York....

    Jordan Belfort, 52, is embarking on his U.S. redemption tour, but it’s hard to pin down his character.
  10. Entrepreneur gives her name and record $10 million gift to USF St. Pete College of Business

    Business

    A 78-year-old woman raised in a one-schoolroom town in Germany, who wore wooden shoes as a child and emigrated here with $30, and who later started and sold a successful surgical instrument company, is now the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's top benefactor.

    The university announced Thursday that it has received a $10 million gift to name its business school the Kate Tiedemann College of Business, effective immediately. The gift is by far the largest in USF St. Pete's 49-year history and binds a successful entrepreneur and Pinellas County resident to a business college gaining national attention for its entrepreneur studies....

    Thanks to Kate Tiedemann’s $10 million gift to support the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, its business school will now be known as the Kate Tiedemann College of Business.
  11. Rep. Dwight Dudley rips Gov. Rick Scott's record on utilities

    Blog

    With the November election looming ever closer, one state legislator again sought to remind voters that Gov. Rick Scott is no friend to middle-class Floridians when it comes to getting tough on big electric utilities. Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, criticized the governor in a telephone briefing for the media this afternoon for his lack of action in letting big power companies like Duke Energy charge consumers and businesses high rates for electricity....

  12. In braver, new workplace ahead looms the 24/7 employee

    Working Life

    Today's hand-wringing over greater wage inequality raises tough questions about the prospects for our economy. Is the once-enduring belief in the American Dream fading fast?

    What better time but on a Labor Day weekend to realize the changes increasingly faced in the workplace — from the blurring of work and personal time to the shrinkage of benefits — are just a warmup act. Business experts say the pace of transformation at work will only accelerate ahead, whether we like it or not....

  13. Trigaux column: From Duke, the rare apology

    Energy

    Does being a monopoly mean never having to say you're sorry?

    That Big Bully image is certainly the growing public perception of Duke Energy Florida, the dominant electric utility in west-central Florida and — let us not forget — part of North Carolina-based Duke Energy, the biggest power company in the United States.

    So it comes as a mild shock that Duke Energy Florida on Wednesday came so tantalizingly close to expressing a formal apology — and meaning it. ...

  14. At Healthbox Tampa, a mission to support 7 startups taking on silos of medical industry

    Business

    Who in their right mind would purchase expensive, personal services with minimal information about the provider and little if any idea of the price?

    Well, we do that all the time as consumers (or patients) of the health care system.

    Efforts to streamline health care and empower consumer decisions with better information are under way. But the task often feels like chipping away at an iceberg with a toothpick....

    Executive director of Healthbox, George Gordon, poses for a portrait at Healthbox, in Tampa Bay WaVE on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 in Tampa.
  15. Florida fades in use of renewable energy as big utilities call the shots

    Energy

    Some enterprising lawyer really should sue the state of Florida for misrepresentation. When it comes to energy resources, calling Florida "the Sunshine State" is as bogus as it gets.

    Other slogans come to mind that more realistically capture Florida's energy image. How about "the Pushover State" for starters?

    Fresh numbers are out comparing how each state relied at the start of this century on different fuels to generate electricity, and how that has changed today....

    Gov. Rick Scott has paid little attention to the energy sector.