Vincent Viola’s profile picture

Vincent Viola

Vincent Viola’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $3.24 Billion
Residence: New York, New York
Country: United States
BirthDay: 1956
Children: 3
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, United States Military Academy; Doctor of Jurisprudence, New York Law School

Vincent Viola was bornon 1956 in New York, New York, United States. Vincent Viola is #829 in List Billionaires People In The World. The son of a truck driver from Brooklyn, Vincent Viola started the electronic-trading firm Virtu Financial in 2008. He took the company public in April 2015, touting its can't-lose business model and the fact that it turned a profit on 1,484 of its first 1,485 days in operation. In Michael Lewis' book Flash Boys, the author pointed to Virtu's winning streak as evidence of the huge informational advantage that high-frequency traders have over other investors. Viola graduated from West Point in 1977 and New York Law School in 1983. Donald Trump appointed him to be Secretary of the Army in December 2016, but Viola withdrew his nomination two months later. He owns the NHL's Florida Panthers.


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$3.24 Billion

Vincent "Vinnie" Viola (born 1956) is an American billionaire, businessman, philanthropist, and U.S. Army veteran. He was for several weeks President Donald Trump's nominee for United States Secretary of the Army, before withdrawing from consideration. He is the former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), and the founder and chairman of Virtu Financial. Viola is the owner of the Florida Panthers, a National Hockey League (NHL) ice hockey team. He is also co-owner, with fellow Brooklynite Anthony Bonomo, of the 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.Viola was born in 1956 to an Italian American family in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, the son of Virginia (Torre) and John A. Viola. His father, an immigrant from Italy, worked as a truck driver, after serving in the U.S. Army in the European theater of WWII. His father’s Army service made a significant impression on Viola as a youth. Upon graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School, Viola attended the United States Military Academy. At West Point, Viola played on the sprint football team and was cadet company commander for Company E-4 his senior year.Viola graduated with a bachelor's degree from the United States Military Academy in 1977 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After graduating from the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School, he served with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell for several years. He received his juris doctor degree from New York Law School, but did not complete the bar exam.Viola began his business career as a trader in the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in 1982, raising $10,000 to purchase a seat on the exchange. He helped build the NYMEX while he served on the board of directors, as chairman of the Technology Committee, the Natural Gas Advisory Committee and the Facilities Committee, co-chairman of the Options Committee, vice chairman of NYMEX from 1993 to 1996 and chairman from March 2001 to March 2004. Prior to and following the Gulf War, Viola earned millions of dollars betting on oil prices.Viola has launched a number of businesses during his career. In 1987, he founded Pioneer Futures, one of the top fifty futures commission merchants in the US. In 1988, he founded The Independent Bank Group, a Texas-based regional bank which is listed on NASDAQ (IBTX). Viola was also one of the two partners who launched EWT, LLC and Madison Tyler, LLC, two electric trading firms formerly based in Beverly Hills, CA and was able to use the electronic trading technique to his own personal gain making him one of the richest men in the world. In 2008, Viola founded Virtu Financial, active in electronic market making. Viola took Virtu Financial public in April 2015, trading as a NASDAQ listed company (VIRT).Leah McGrath Goodman's 2011 book, The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market, describes Viola and his temperament. Goodman wrote Viola "had a nasty temper, but [predecessor chairman Lou] Guttman says he didn’t lose control of his emotions easily" and that "beneath the spit and polish he was still a tough guy from Brooklyn." In the book, Lou Guttman, the previous chairman at the New York Mercantile Exchange, said Viola "exuded leadership. His personality was amazing. He drew people in. He was a phenomenal speaker. Even if he didn’t know what he was talking about, he sounded like he knew what he was saying. He was an astute businessman and an extreme opportunist."As of December 2016, Viola had a net worth of $1.78 billion.On December 19, 2016, then-President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Viola for the position of Secretary of the Army. The choice was reported to be concerning to the nominated Secretary of Defense General James Mattis, who was reportedly not informed of the choice prior to the announcement, a position he would directly oversee, and was concerned about potential trading practices which were not yet fully investigated.Viola withdrew himself from consideration for the position on February 3, 2017, citing his inability to comply with Pentagon regulations regarding personal businesses. Military Times reported that Viola had been searching for ways to divest from his business ventures, including transferring ownership of the Florida Panthers to his family members and transferring responsibility for operations to Vice Chairman Douglas Cifu.After the 9/11 attacks, Viola founded the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Viola has created a technology company, Rowan Technology Solutions, to support cadet education in the areas of military history, military science, and leadership. He has also been instrumental in supporting the Army Cyber Institute, the Modern War Institute, and Army athletics. Viola has endowed the Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. Chair in Catholic Theology at Fordham University.Viola and his wife Teresa have three adult sons, and live in New York City. In 2013, their Upper East Side townhouse was listed for sale at $114 million.Viola and Teresa are both involved in horseracing as the owners of St. Elias Stable and Teresa Viola Racing respectively. They are co-owners of Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.
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