Virtu Financial Inc., the group responsible for acquiring KCG Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:KCG) in a landmark deal earlier this year in April, has added a household name to its board of directors with the appointment of former Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld. He will be stepping into the new senior role following the completion of Virtu Financial’s $1.4 billion takeover of rival KCG.
Mr. Greifeld stepped down as CEO of Nasdaq earlier this year – Adena Friedman, who now leads the exchange operator, has since succeeded him. Mr. Greifeld served as the CEO of Nasdaq since 2003, radically transforming the group into the more diversified entity that it is now with an active market presence in the US and Europe.
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Per the appointment, Mr. Greifeld will be taking over from Virtu Financial’s founder, Vincent Viola, as Chairman of its board. A transition has been in the works since May 2017, with Viola opting to hand over responsibilities to one of the industry’s foremost experts and veterans.
The addition of Mr. Greifeld represents a huge asset for the group, who will benefit from the vast wealth of knowledge garnered during his time as the leader of one of the largest exchanges in the world by market capitalization. Mr. Greifeld’s two-decade long tenure at Nasdaq speaks for itself, having developed one of the industry’s first electronic stock order matching systems.
Moreover, he led Nasdaq OMX to an unprecedented level of growth spanning over nine consecutive quarters, including its most successful period since it began reporting its financials in 1997. He also is one of the industry’s leading outspoken advocates for efficient capital markets, improved regulation, and market transparency in the US, also pushing for sustained business growth and innovation – he currently serves as a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.
Mr. Viola’s position as Chairman had been in a state of flux since being nominated and floated by President Donald Trump as be Secretary of the Army, a position he has since withdrawn from. The appointment is pending the completion of Virtu Financial’s acquisition, which has already been approved by the board of directors of each company. Virtu Financial had agreed to acquire KCG in a cash transaction valued at $20.00 per KCG share, or a total of approximately $1.4 billion, in a bid to expand its growing execution business.