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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


Blog: Venture

Twitter: @VentureTampaBay

  1. Take a look at how the biggest companies in Florida and Tampa Bay are driving the economy


    What do e-commerce firm Triad Retail Media, document imaging business Dex Imaging, Heritage Insurance Holdings and beverage maker Cott Corp. have in common?

    They are among a handful of larger Tampa Bay area-based public and private companies to register sales gains of 30 percent or more last year, making them recent growth leaders in revenues in this region's metropolitan economy. Heritage revenues soared 69 percent last year, though the company has had to tighten its belt since then. Cott, pushing into new turf with coffee and water sales, rebounded from declining consumption in soda products with a 40 percent sales gain in 2015....

    Clearwater-based Tech Data is the largest public company by revenue in the Tampa Bay area and second largest in the state. Photo courtesy Tech Data.
  2. Expanding grocery titans Publix and Wegmans are about to battle it out in Virginia


    FREDERICKSBURG, VA. — In a Virginia suburb not far from where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant to end the Civil War, a 21st century clash of a different kind of superpowers is looming.

    Two of the nation's most highly touted supermarkets are about to meet and fight for supremacy in Virginia.

    From upstate New York, the highly regarded Wegmans chain of grocery stores is pushing south with a seriously loyal following. And from Florida, the much touted Publix, the Sunshine State's dominant supermarket chain, is spreading into Virginia after successfully expanding and taking on all comers in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and South and North Carolina....

    Customers line up for the opening of a Publix store at 3700 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg. Publix is the dominant grocery store in Florida.
  3. Trigaux: Tampa Bay area venture capital funding is still lean, but vital


    Nationwide, venture capitalists invested $15.3 billion in 961 deals in the second quarter of 2016.

    Sounds impressive. And it is, with more VC dollars funneling into the hands of fewer and more mature startups like rideshare phenom Uber gobbling up $3.5 billion, photo-sharing Snapchat nabbing $1.27 billion and genome diagnostic firm Human Longevity claiming $220 million.

    That's a third of all VC money in the quarter going to just three firms....

  4. 10 Tampa Bay area business people to watch for the rest of 2016


    The good news about the ever more complex Tampa Bay business scene? There are lots of people worthy of watching because more folks are pushing the area economy forward in new ways with new energy.

    Consider these 10 to watch a sampling from the cream of an ambitious crop.

    Ambassador of startups


    A view of the skyline in Tampa. The good news about the ever more complex Tampa Bay business scene? There are lots of people worthy of watching because more folks are pushing the area economy forward in new ways with new energy. [Times (2012)]
  5. John Ramil looks back at 40 years of helping grow TECO Energy, Tampa Bay economy


    TECO Energy CEO John Ramil vividly recalls what seemed so important 40 years ago when he started his career, still a fresh-faced USF engineering student in 1976, at what was then Tampa Electric.

    The electric utility would eventually boast with pride that it relied 100 percent on cheap and abundant coal to power its plants, generating affordable electricity for customers in Hillsborough and several nearby counties....

    John Ramil is pictured at Tampa Electric in 1985, early in his career. He  steadily climbed the corporate ladder, becoming the company’s CEO in 2010.
  6. In expanding era of sleazy corporate tactics, VW sits atop the heap — for now


    Is it my imagination or are more major companies adopting management strategies that are slipshod at best and outright lies at worst — all in the name of bamboozling customers, investors and government regulators in order to pursue short-term profits?

    Cynical readers will derisively snort: So what else is new? That's what Big Business does. Where have you been hiding, Trigaux?...

  7. Brexit backlash hits Tampa Bay companies


    'Brexit' backlash hits Tampa Bay companies

    Backlash to Britain's "Brexit" vote to exit the European Union pounded stocks worldwide with the Dow closing down Friday by 610 points. Shares of Tampa Bay's companies were not immune.

    Nearly every publicly traded area corporation watched its stock price drop in response to the Brexit vote and the sharp uptick in global uncertainty spurred by that action....

    St. Petersburg's Raymond James Financial is one Tampa Bay company that saw its stock price drop on Friday. 
DAVID W DOONAN   |    Special to Times
  8. New Major League Baseball stadiums face high prices and shrinking lifespans

    Economic Development

    The Tampa Bay Rays are hardly alone in their anxious enthusiasm to vacate their current baseball stadium for a new and shiny one that will generate more revenue and, baseball gods willing, higher attendance.

    Stadium fever is alive and well in a surprising number of Major League Baseball metro areas across the country. It's as if all 30 MLB franchises see a bigger, better, newer stadium as much or even more of a competitive asset as the team that wins games on the field. ...

    Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
  9. Tampa Bay Partnership 2.0: To meet regional challenge, economic advocacy group reinvents itself

    Economic Development

    As Tampa Bay struggles to meet growing regional challenges, the need is greater than ever for a reinvigorated economic development group that can transcend parochial city and county borders.

    So goes the argument of business leaders who fear this metro-wide area lacks a clear and influential regional voice when it comes to driving real progress on major initiatives from transportation, workforce talent and education to entrepreneurship and marketing....

    Rick Homans, the new CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, is leading an effort to re-invent the group's leadership. SKIP  O'ROURKE  |  TImes

  10. Stock markets may waffle in 2016 but these 10 Tampa Bay area stocks are heading up — or down


    The overall stock market may be unable to make up its mind this year which way it's heading. But the shares of some leading Tampa Bay area companies seem to have chosen their own direction.


    Or down.

    Sure, the stocks of many of the dozens of publicly traded area corporations have continued to waffle back and forth since the start of 2016, up briefly on good news only to droop weeks later on more somber information. Just like the broader markets....

    SeaWorld must reinvent itself without its killer whale shows.
  11. St. Petersburg's Jabil looks to fresh markets as demand slows for Apple's iPhone


    Thanks a lot, Apple.

    That's the simplest way to explain the sharp decline in earnings just reported by St. Petersburg-based Jabil. The bottom line of the manufacturing design and production company, which has long made iPhone parts for Apple as the smartphone took the world by storm, is wincing now that the world's iPhone obsession appears to be waning.

    Apple is Jabil's biggest customer and accounts for a substantial portion of its profits....

    St. Petersburg-based Jabil is feeling the effects of slowing Apple Iphone sales. The company is looking to cut costs and is turning to robots to replace workers at its factories in China. This file photo shows a Jabil factory in Guangzhou, China.
  12. Florida generated 7th fastest growing GDP in 2015 but still trailed major rivals


    Florida enjoyed a bullish gain to its state gross domestic product of 3.1 percent last year, ranking it seventh among the states. But some of Florida's biggest rivals — large population states that it likes to compare itself against — outgrew the Sunshine State.

    Specifically the GDP of California, the state Florida Gov. Rick Scott most likes to disparage for its high taxes and costs, grew 4.1 percent, tied with Oregon as the fastest-growing state economy in the nation. And Texas, the giant Sunbelt state Scott most likes to fashion Florida after, saw its GDP grow 3.8 percent in 2015. That ranked Texas No. 2 in the country in GDP growth....

  13. Survey: To woo millennial talent, Tampa Bay must stand out from competing metros

    Economic Development

    If Colleen Chappell had her way, she would run every person in the Tampa Bay area through a marketing boot camp to learn precisely what makes this region great now and even greater tomorrow.

    Then she'd send them all out to those metro areas deemed arch competitors of Tampa Bay. In Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Dallas, they'd make their pitch directly to talented millennials on why the bay area is a more promising and affordable place to build a career and enjoy the lifestyle....

    A new survey shows Tampa Bay ranks highly among millennials when compared to cities it competes with for young talent -- Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte and Nashville. CHERIE DIEZ  | Times

  14. Media, health care giant Hearst buying majority stake in Tampa software firm MedHOK


    Media giant Hearst, known for its ownership stakes in the A&E and History cable channels as well as the Houston Chronicle newspaper and Cosmopolitan magazine, is expanding its health care interests with the purchase of a majority stake in Tampa medical software firm MedHOK.

    Launched in 2010, MedHOK provides health care compliance software connecting pharmacies and medical data. It ranked 25th nationwide in 2014 in Inc. magazine's annual ranking of the fastest-growing companies in America. That year, MedHOK grew more than 9,000 percent with revenues of just over $17 million. Last year's revenues topped $40 million....

  15. Will an Obama policy change squeeze Tampa's Health Insurance Innovations out of its key market?


    Shares in an 8-year-old Tampa insurance company that administers short-term medical plans dropped to an all-time low Monday following last week's proposed change in federal rules governing its business, as well as an analyst's downgrade.

    Health Insurance Innovations, which went public in 2013 and now employs nearly 200, saw its shares top $15 early that year. But the stock started to droop in latter 2014 and hit a low of $4.25 last fall. After improving to $7.47 last month, the latest double whammy on Monday drove down Health Insurance Innovations' stock by 11.3 percent, closing at a record low of $4.03....