High-Frequency Trading Firm Virtu Financial Acquires ITG in $1 Billion Deal

High-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial recently closed on its $1 billion acquisition of Investment Technology Group (ITG). The deal’s closing was announced on March 1st with Virtu paying approximately $1 billion for the brokerage and financial markets technology firm, equivalent to approximately $30.30 per share at close. Virtu first announced their plans to acquire ITG in November 2018.

In announcing the deal, Virtu CEO Douglas Cifu stated: “Over the past four months, the dedicated leadership teams of both firms have developed a detailed integration plan. In the coming days we will begin to execute that plan to bring Virtu’s leading technology, risk management and operational efficiency to ITG’s array of agency solutions to better serve a global client franchise. We are excited to welcome our new colleagues to execute and deliver on this plan. ITG has a long history of providing clients with superior service and value-added products. We look forward to creating the premier technology-enabled market making and execution services franchise.”

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As part of the acquisition terms, Douglas Cifu will continue to serve as Virtu’s chief executive officer and Joseph Molluso will continue on as Virtu’s chief financial officer. Existing ITG management will be incorporated into Virtu’s corporate structure on a global level, with Robert Boardman in Europe, Michael Corcoran in the Asia-Pacific region and Etienne Phaneuf in Canada.

Following the close of the ITG deal, Virtu planned to launch a Client Information Security Program (or CISP) for its broker-neutral client offerings. As part of this effort, the company will be hosting Client Information Security Forums in order to provide information related to the CISP, receive feedback from clients about their information security needs and examine best practices and standards within the industry.

The acquisition of ITG is the second large-scale acquisition that Virtu has closed in less than two years. In early 2017, the company purchased competing high-frequency trading firm KCG Holdings for approximately $1.3 billion. That acquisition has helped Virtu grow in the agency execution sector as well as expand its existing market making activities.