HFT Pays: CEO Of Firm That Accounts For 5% Of US Equity Volume Selling His NY Mansion For $114 Million

Tyler Durden's picture

Everyone knows that the most parasitic form of trading, that would be high frequency trading for those who may not have followed this website since 2009, is very profitable. Well, it is certainly profitable for those who operate the momentum-igniting, quote churning, queue jumping HFT firms in control of what's left of the "market", if not so much for anyone else. Just how profitable is it? Judging by the house that Vincent Viola, head of Virtu Financial, one of the largest high frequency electronic trading and market making firms, which according to Cifu accounts for more than 5% of US equities volume and over 10% of the of the average daily volume of MSFT, and which tried to expand even more aggressively with a failed bid for Knight Capital last year, has just put on the block.

According to the NY Daily News, the house that the HFT behemoth is trying to offload, is a "40-foot-wide mansion, one of the largest homes in the city, is on the market for a whopping $114 million — or half the price its owner, Wall Street investor Vincent Viola, spent to buy the Florida Panthers hockey team earlier this year."

The asking price for this seven-bedroom, nine-bath house would not only break the current record, but rip out its heart and step on it. The most expensive home in city history was The Harkness Mansion at 4 E. 75th St., a 36-footer that sold for $53 million in 2006.

And while it may not have been a high frequency flip, if purchased at the asking price, Viola is set to make nearly 5 times his money in just 8 years: Viola and his designer wife, Theresa, bought the house for $20 million in 2005. At the time the 16,000-foot spread was broken up into four large apartments and doctor’s offices, however it has since been redesigned into a mine-Versailles mansion with the help of Theresa Viola's firm Maida Vale Design.

If the offer is lifted, we will finally have validation that the housing bubble has taken out all previous highs. "Since the real estate bubble burst, no townhouse has broken the $50 million mark, though a few have tried, including the $90 million Woolworth mansion that most recently belonged to Lucille Roberts, the exercise queen. It has been taken off the market." It will also confirm that HFT does indeed pay well. Although, in all fairness to Viola, he did serve as former Chairman of the NY Merc.

That said, we expect Viola's next house to be even bigger: after all it is only a matter of time before the HFT powerhouse goes public as it has been trying since May. A quick reminder on just what Virtu does via Bloomberg:

Virtu, which provides bids and offers on 205 venues around the world in products from U.S. equities to silver and copper futures, says its fastest growth is currently in currency trading and providing liquidity to stocks in Asian markets including Japan and Australia. It expects rapid growth in new products that will become available when over-the-counter derivatives start trading electronically under rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, Cifu and Concannon said.


Concannon and Cifu run the firm’s daily operations with Vincent Viola, Virtu’s controlling shareholder, chairman and chief executive officer. Viola, who was chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange from 2001 to 2004, cofounded the company in 2008 with Cifu and Graham Free, its global head trader. Cifu, who is also chief operating officer, previously was a partner and co-head of the private-equity group at law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.


Concannon, a former executive vice president at exchange operator Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., met with the SEC’s new chairman about running the agency’s division that regulates exchanges and sets policies for markets on April 10, White’s first day on the job, according to people briefed on the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.


The lawyer and former exchange executive said he plans to stay at Virtu. He worked at the SEC in the mid-1990s and later held several positions at Island ECN and Instinet Group Inc. before joining Nasdaq Stock Market in 2003 when it bought a business owned by Instinet.


Private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners LLC invested in Virtu in 2011 in connection with the market maker’s acquisition of Madison Tyler Holdings LLC, which Viola and David Salomon, a former arbitrage trader at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., cofounded in 2002. Virtu is profitable every day, according to Cifu.


“As a market-making firm that does not take a directional view of the market, we historically have not had trading days where we lose money across the firm,” he said.

So for just under $120 million one can buy either Steve Cohen's Bloomberg building duplex, or the following:

The owners of 12 E. 69th St. have put a bow around their $114 million townhouse ... the perfect Christmas present?

The screening room was modeled on Theresa Viola's favorite movie palace in Queens, where she grew up.

The basement was expanded to accommodate a pool, sauna, game room, gym and a two-story screening room.

The master bathroom features a soaking tub made from a giant geode.

The coffered ceiling the grand living room features 14-karat gold leaf, and the floors are walnut and mahogany.

The massive kitchen features a pizza oven and huge TV among its features. The penguins are just for decoration.

An intricate grand staircase connects the first three floors of the home.

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TheLooza's picture

My plan is to call his agent 100 times an hour and ask him how much it costs now. and now. and now.



Clint Liquor's picture

Don't hate him because he is rich. Hate because he is a thieving piece of shit. HFT is theft and everyone except the SEC knows it.

El Oregonian's picture

High Frequency Thievery

I now see what the new cancer looks like. Sorry to tell you M.F.king parasites, you ain't taking it with ya...

old naughty's picture

He didn't know that! He's exchanging physical to paper...hummmm. Party over soon?

Obchelli's picture

He will be stuffing qoutes one minute it's 115 million - minute somebody bids it's 115 and million 1 dollar

dryam's picture

When is main street going to wake the fuck up & take their money out of Wall Street?

BKbroiler's picture

I'm not sure they need Main Street's money anymore.  They're dry, the market is just the poker room for the upper crust.

Next to Arch Stanton's picture

Pretty sure the SEC knows it.  They are not paid to look into activities of firms like his - conflict of interest.

Pladizow's picture

So, (Wall St.) Crime Pays?

knukles's picture

With no penalties, to boot!


PS  Reeks of new money, neauvo riche taste

Pure Evil's picture

No matter how much you hate them.

Ya gotta admit they know how to live in style.

If they can't sell it, I wonder if they'd be willing to rent it out by the hour?

3.7.77's picture

That's not living in style.

I'll take my land, critters and clean air.

Nobody For President's picture

You got that right. I built my own home, two-car garage, shop, and storage building with my own hands on 43 acres of land I looked for for over a year. I would not even think of trading for that opulant, novoue riche piece of shit. It's in New York City, fer chrissakes, just for openers.

Their 'taste' is all in their mouths.

DavidC's picture

'Style', yes. Taste? No.


Clint Liquor's picture

Glad you clarified 'Wall St.' because Jamal will still get 15 for jacking a 7-11 for a couple hundred bucks.

Larry Dallas's picture

Eye-Talian tastes. Even looks Staten Island Stucco on the outside.

Downtoolong's picture

Even better, ask if you can submit 5 million bids for the property at $2 million, or $5 million below next best, whichever is higher.

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

Not exactly "Little House on the Praire".





Rainman's picture

This is the booty from institutionalized theft.

aVileRat's picture

Whenever you see that tic order suddenly get filled at 50 bps less than the post, you can thank this guy. No really, everyone hates them so give him a hug. Don't let go. Main reason why everyone trades upstairs now is because of their yo-yo games.




SolidSnake961's picture

I prefer Cohen's place.

Colonel Klink's picture

Only if it burned to the ground with him in it.

Hulk's picture

OK, A geode bath tub is cool, just watch your nuts when you get in and out...

Colonel Klink's picture

Did I just read that he likes to soak in a giant camode?

EDIT:  Nope he bathes in a giant geode, he works in a giant camode.  My bad!

fonzannoon's picture

notice they did show his walk in closet of air jordans.

unwashedmass's picture


it looks like it would be cold to live in....large rooms, high ceilings.....quickest way to freeze ever. 

and geode or not, that is not a comfy bathroom. 

Colonel Klink's picture

It's ok, it's heated by burning vast quantities of money he fleeced via his HFT business from the accounts of the middle class who's just trying to survive.

The man with pointy horns's picture

When the HFTs have full control of the market it will be lovely seeing the algos cannibalise each other; each outbidding the other until the volatility is so extreme that value goes out of the window.

Max Cynical's picture

What does your husband do? Oh why he's a market maker...

Dr Benway's picture

Ah, so he "provides liquidity" in Australia, eh? Maybe that helps explain the daily ramp of the ASX after opening. Or why the index inexplicably spiked 15 points after close yesterday.

Papasmurf's picture

Stocks must be topped out if this is a better use of money.

disabledvet's picture

"and for my final trick...

Mine Is Bigger's picture

Too bad.  I would have bought it if penguins were real.  Fakers!!!

krispkritter's picture

HFT=Hang (the) Fucking Traitors

I hope the penguins burn this shit to the ground and he doesn't have a 'penguin clause'...

loveyajimbo's picture

You do not ahve to be a shitbag Obunga lover to think tar and feathers for these crooked Mo Fo's.

NeedleDickTheBugFucker's picture

You can take the girl out of Queens, but you can't take Queens out of the girl.  Nice try using Maida Vale Designs in attempt to portray the firm as something from the London aristocracy.  Given the pictures, Theresa should have named her company Flushing Designs.

10mm's picture

Send the FSA in there for a HO down.

Dadburnitpa's picture

He's a market maker.  Since he "makes" something he'll be able to use that to barter for other goods and services after the collapse.  Sadly for him, the street value of his product by then will be zero and he'll be forced to suck zombie dick over in the park to feed himself.

Conax's picture

How could you cook pizzas in a kitchen without fake penguins? 

My leg would act up covering all the acreage and using that giant staircase.  For a hundo-mundo it should have golf carts and an elevator.


SweetDoug's picture





Cold, sterile. Garish.


It looks unlived in.

It looks like a movie set for some nightmare for a child.


Why do those with money tend towards crap from the 16 century?

Can you imagine them just living in a… Home?




Colonel Klink's picture

Because they're trying to think of themselves as royalty instead of the uber douchbags they really are.

Judge Crater's picture

For most of the nine years they owned this hovel, it must have been undegoing renovation.  Wait until the bathroom waste line starts to leak, that should knock down the price.

zipit's picture

Pretty ugly and tasteless decor, IMHO.  Totally unoriginal.  In a word, boring.

WhoMe's picture

Hopefully there will be more of this and we will begin to bring some sanity back to the stock markets.


New Exchange to take on TSX

"Canada is getting a new stock exchange.

A group including Royal Bank of Canada and five other large investment firms is launching a competitor to the Toronto Stock Exchange, which handles the most trading in Canada.

The new market is designed to attract investors who are upset with what they see as unfair competition from high-frequency traders, who use ultrafast computers to exploit market quirks or to try to get ahead of other investors. The success of the new exchange may hinge on how much discontent there is with high-frequency trading (HFT) activity......"









tradingdaze's picture

RBC being a primary dealer and a part of the problem in the entire banking system.

Nussi34's picture

I would like to eat the penguins!

SweetDoug's picture



'If up to 90% of trading is HFT and this guy does 5% and we traded 90 million today…


Who's left trading?