Trading With Virtu Financial

Luiggi Trejo
2 min readOct 30, 2023
Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Virtu Financial is a prominent global financial services company that specializes in market-making and proprietary trading. Founded in 2008 by Vincent Viola and Doug Cifu, the firm has grown to become a major player in the high-frequency trading (HFT) industry and electronic market making.

Virtu Financial is headquartered in New York City and operates in various financial markets around the world.

The Founders

Vincent Viola — Vincent Viola, a U.S. Army veteran, had an illustrious career in the financial industry before co-founding Virtu Financial. He previously served as Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), where he played a crucial role in modernizing the exchange and making it a global leader in energy and commodity trading.

Doug Cifu — Doug Cifu, a lawyer and finance professional, brought legal and financial expertise to the partnership. He had a background in securities law and investment banking before joining forces with Vincent Viola to establish Virtu.

Key features and aspects of Virtu Financial

High-Frequency Trading (HFT) — Virtu is known for its expertise in high-frequency trading, a strategy that involves executing many trades in a fraction of a second. This requires advanced algorithms, cutting-edge technology, and ultra-fast execution capabilities.

Market-Making — Virtu acts as a market maker in various asset classes, including equities, options, futures, fixed income, and foreign exchange. As a market maker, the company provides liquidity to financial markets by buying and selling securities. This facilitates smoother trading and helps narrow bid-ask spreads for market participants.

Algorithmic Trading — The firm heavily relies on complex trading algorithms to make rapid trading decisions. These algorithms are designed to exploit market inefficiencies, price discrepancies, and arbitrage opportunities.

Global Presence — Virtu Financial operates in financial markets worldwide, making it a globally recognized market maker and trading firm. It has offices in major financial centers across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Technological Innovation — The firm is known for its technological innovation and commitment to staying at the forefront of trading technology. Virtu continually invests in cutting-edge infrastructure and systems to maintain its competitive edge.

Acquisitions — Over the years, Virtu Financial has expanded its operations through strategic acquisitions. One notable acquisition was its purchase of KCG Holdings, another major market-making firm, in 2017, which significantly bolstered Virtu’s presence in the industry.

Profitability: Virtu Financial has consistently been profitable, thanks to its ability to profit from small price differentials in financial markets. The firm’s trading operations generate revenue from these small spreads.

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