Wall Street Gets New Billionaire As Virtu Prepares For IPO

Posted: Mar 10 2014, 10:56pm CDT | by , Updated: Mar 11 2014, 2:28am CDT, in Technology News


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Wall Street Gets New Billionaire As Virtu Prepares For IPO

Virtu CEO Vincent Viola is the latest Wall Street CEO to hit billionaire status.

Viola, the founder–and majority shareholder–of New York high-frequency market maker, Virtu, stands to make a fortune once his firm readies to go public on NASDAQ. The Financial Times reported today that the IPO could fetch a valuation of $3 billion and that Viola (who owns more than 65% of the shares) could net a paper fortune worth more than $2 billion. Also cashing in–Silver Lake Partners who put $250 million in the company back in 2011 when Virtu merged with Madison Tyler–a market maker also founded by Viola.

Last September Viola bought the NHL’s Florida Panthers in a $240 million deal that according to Forbes “includes the Florida Panthers, the operating agreement with the Broward County-owned BB&T Center, the three-sheet IcePlex in Coral Springs and the rights to develop nine acres surrounding BB&T Center.”

Virtu, a high tech, high frequency trader, makes markets in more than 10,000 securities across 210 exchanges. According to the Virtu S1, in 2013 it had revenues of $664.5 million and net income of $182 million. Virtu said it ”had only one losing trading day during the period depicted, a total of 1,238 trading days.”

Viola graduated from West Point and served in the Army’s 101 Airborne Division before going on to trade at the NYMEX in 1982. He would later become chairman. Viola started market maker Madison Tyler in 2002. He cofounded Virtu in 2008–and merged the firms together in 2011.

We’ll be watching Virtu closely as the IPO approaches. It now appears that Viola is worth more than $2.25 billion–and given the frothy equity markets, it’s a number that could climb much higher once the stock starts trading.

Source: Forbes

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