Virtu founder Viola nominated for army post on team Trump

Chief Executive Officer and Owner of the Florida Panthers Vincent Viola attends the commissioner's luncheon at Ritz Carlton on June 26, 2015

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Vincent Viola

The Trump transition team said in a December 19 statement that Vincent Viola is set to replace Eric Fanning as Secretary of the Army, subject to Senate confirmation.

The 1977 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, who goes by the name Vinnie, will seek an “orderly and appropriate” transition from his position as executive chairman at Virtu, the firm said in a separate statement.

Viola and Goldman Sachs’s president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn have known each other from their days at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trump announced on December 12 the appointment of Cohn, a former member of Nymex’s executive committee, as director of the National Economic Council.

Trump said in a statement: “Whether it is his distinguished military service or highly impressive track record in the world of business, Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge.”

Viola said: “A primary focus of my leadership will be ensuring that America’s soldiers have the ways and means to fight and win across the full spectrum of conflict.”

Virtu has chosen Douglas Cifu, the firm’s chief executive, to succeed Viola as executive chairman in the event Senate confirmation comes through.

Born to Italian parents in Brooklyn, Viola was the first of his family members to go to college. He graduated from the New York Law School in 1983.

Viola’s start in the financial services industry came on the floor of Nymex in the 1980s. He went on to become the chairman of Nymex from 2001 to 2004. He and partners started the firm that would become Virtu in 2002.

Viola holds his roughly 60% stake in Virtu through family partnership TJMT Holding LLC. According to regulatory filings, the vehicle is controlled by his son, Michael, and his wife, Teresa.

Virtu said in a statement that TJMT does not intend to divest its holdings in the company as a result of the nomination or confirmation.

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