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Robert Greifeld: Trading Places

June 15, 2017

Robert Greifeld, who turned Nasdaq into a global exchange and technology company that gets most of its revenue from recurring fees for data, co-location services and the like, will soon become Chairman of Virtu Financial, a high-frequency trading firm. That appointment will take place after Virtu completes its $1.4 billion acquisition of KCG Holdings (fka Knight). Greifeld will take over from Virtu's current chairman and founder Vincent Viola.


Virtu Financial was founded in 2011 by former New York Mercantile Exchange Chairman Vincent Viola. When Virtu sought to acquire KCG Holdings, Greifeld and other investors helped finance the $1.4 billion purchase price by acquiring a combined $750 million of new Virtu stock.


Greifeld had served 14 years as CEO of Nasdaq until January 1, 2017, when Adena Friedman succeeded him. In May 2017, Mr. Greifeld relinquished his role as Nasdaq Chairman.


Viola was nominated by Donald Trump to be secretary of the Army, but he withdrew his name from consideration in February due to potential conflicts related to his businesses. Mr. Viola, along with Virtu CEO Douglas Cifu, purchased the Florida Panthers Hockey team in 2013.