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EX-31.1 - EX-31.1 - Virtu Financial, Inc.virt-20151231ex311553a51.htm
EX-31.2 - EX-31.2 - Virtu Financial, Inc.virt-20151231ex312317026.htm
EX-32.2 - EX-32.2 - Virtu Financial, Inc.virt-20151231ex322dfbba6.htm
EX-23.1 - EX-23.1 - Virtu Financial, Inc.virt-20151231ex231a58859.htm
EX-32.1 - EX-32.1 - Virtu Financial, Inc.virt-20151231ex321b36a86.htm
EX-21.1 - EX-21.1 - Virtu Financial, Inc.virt-20151231ex211867833.htm

 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the year ended December 31, 2015

or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from     to     

Commission file number:  001-37352

 

Virtu Financial, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

32-0420206

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

 

900 Third Avenue, 29th Floor
New York, New York 10022-0100

10022

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

 

(212) 418-0100

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  No

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes  No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes   No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes     No 

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

 

 

(Do not check if a Smaller Reporting Company)

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes     No

 

The aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2015 was approximately $735.6 million, based on the closing price of $23.48 per share as reported by NASDAQ on such date.

 

As of March 25, 2016, the Company has the following classes of common stock outstanding:

Class of Stock

    

Shares Outstanding
as of March 25, 2016

 

Class A common stock, par value $0.00001 per share

 

38,210,209

 

Class C common stock, par value $0.00001 per share

 

20,976,598

 

Class D common stock, par value $0.00001 per share

 

79,610,490

 

 

Portions of Part III of this Form 10-K are incorporated by reference from the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement (the “2016 Proxy Statement”) for its 2016 annual meeting of shareholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after the end of the Registrant’s fiscal year.

 

 

 


 

VIRTU FINANCIAL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

INDEX TO FORM 10-K

FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

    

PAGE
NUMBER

PART I 

 

 

 

ITEM 1. 

 

BUSINESS

 

ITEM 1A. 

 

RISK FACTORS

 

16 

ITEM 1B. 

 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

37 

ITEM 2. 

 

PROPERTIES

 

37 

ITEM 3. 

 

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

37 

ITEM 4. 

 

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

37 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 5. 

 

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

38 

ITEM 6. 

 

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

40 

ITEM 7. 

 

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

43 

ITEM 7A. 

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

65 

ITEM 8. 

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

67 

ITEM 9. 

 

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

109 

ITEM 9A. 

 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

109 

ITEM 9B. 

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

109 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 10. 

 

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS, AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

110 

ITEM 11. 

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

110 

ITEM 12. 

 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

110 

ITEM 13. 

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

110 

ITEM 14. 

 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

110 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 15. 

 

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

111 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

113 

 

 

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PART I

 

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Form 10-K contains forward‑looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward‑looking statements because they are subject to numerous uncertainties and factors relating to our operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Forward‑looking statements include information concerning our possible or assumed future results of operations, including descriptions of our business strategy. These forward‑looking statements can be identified by the use of forward‑looking terminology, including the terms “may,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “project” or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology and expressions. These statements are based on assumptions that we have made in light of our experience in the industry as well as our perceptions of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors we believe are appropriate under the circumstances. As you read and consider this Form 10-K, you should understand that these statements are not guarantees of performance or results and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward‑looking statements contained in this Form 10-K. By their nature, forward‑looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Although we believe that the forward‑looking statements contained in this Form 10-K are based on reasonable assumptions, you should be aware that many factors could affect our actual financial results or results of operations and could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward‑looking statements, including but not limited to:

reduced levels of overall trading activity;

dependence upon trading counterparties and clearing houses performing their obligations to us;

failures of our customized trading platform;

risks inherent to the electronic market making business and trading generally;

increased competition in market making activities;

dependence on continued access to sources of liquidity;

risks associated with self‑clearing and other operational elements of our business;

compliance with laws and regulations, including those specific to our industry;

obligation to comply with applicable regulatory capital requirements;

litigation or other legal and regulatory‑based liabilities;

proposed legislation that would impose taxes on certain financial transactions in the European Union, the U.S. and other jurisdictions;

obligation to comply with laws and regulations applicable to our international operations;

enhanced media and regulatory scrutiny and its impact upon public perception of us or of companies in our industry;

need to maintain and continue developing proprietary technologies;

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failure to maintain system security or otherwise maintain confidential and proprietary information;

capacity constraints, system failures, and delays;

dependence on third party infrastructure or systems;

use of open source software;

failure to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights in our proprietary technology;

risks associated with international operations and expansion, including failed acquisitions or dispositions;

fluctuations in currency exchange rates;

risks associated with potential growth and associated corporate actions;

inability to, or delay, in accessing the capital markets to sell shares or raise additional capital;

loss of key executives and failure to recruit and retain qualified personnel; and

risks associated with losing access to a significant exchange or other trading venue.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this Form 10-K.

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

BUSINESS

 

Overview

 

Virtu is a leading technology‑enabled market maker and liquidity provider to the global financial markets. We stand ready, at any time, to buy or sell a broad range of securities and other financial instruments, and we generate revenue by buying and selling securities and other financial instruments and earning small bid/ask spreads across a large volume of transactions. We make markets by providing quotations to buyers and sellers in more than 12,000 securities and other financial instruments on more than 230 unique exchanges, markets and liquidity pools in 35 countries around the world. We believe that our broad diversification, in combination with our proprietary technology platform and low‑cost structure, enables us to facilitate risk transfer between global capital markets participants by supplying liquidity and competitive pricing while at the same time earning attractive margins and returns.

 

We believe that market makers like us serve an important role in maintaining and improving the overall health and efficiency of the global capital markets by continuously posting bids and offers for financial instruments and thereby providing to market participants an efficient means to transfer risk. All market participants benefit from the increased liquidity, lower overall trading costs and enhanced execution certainty that we provide. While we do not have customers in a traditional sense, we make markets for global banks, brokers and other intermediaries, and indirectly provide services to retail and institutional investors, including corporations, individuals, hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds and other investors, all of whom can access our liquidity on exchanges or venues in order to transfer risk in

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multiple securities and asset classes for their own accounts and/or on behalf of their customers. The following table illustrates the diversification of our revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Percentage of

    

 

 

 

 

Adjusted Net Trading

 

 

 

 

 

Income(1)

 

 

 

Asset

 

(Year Ended

 

 

 

Classes

 

December 31, 2015)

 

Selected Venues in Which We Make Markets

 

Americas Equities

 

27

%  

Aequitas Neo, BATS, BM&F Bovespa, CME, ICE, IEX, NASDAQ, NYSE,  NYSE Arca, NYSE MKT, TMX, major private liquidity pools

 

EMEA Equities

 

12

%  

Amsterdam, Aquis, BATS Europe, Bolsa de Madrid, Borsa Italiana, Brussels, EUREX, Euronext -Paris, ICE Futures Europe, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Lisbon, London Stock Exchange,  SIX Swiss Exchange, Turquoise Exchange, XETRA

 

APAC Equities

 

9

%  

OSE, SBI Japannext, SGX, TOCOM, TSE

 

Global Commodities

 

23

%  

CME, EBS, ICE, ICE Futures Europe, NASDAQ Energy Exchange, SGX, TOCOM

 

Global Currencies

 

22

%  

CME, Currenex, EBS, HotSpot, ICE, LMAX, Reuters/FXall

 

Options, Fixed Income and Other Securities

 

6

%  

BOX, BrokerTec, CBOE, eSpeed, NYSE Arca Options, PHLX

 


(1)

For a full description of Adjusted Net Trading Income and a reconciliation of Adjusted Net Trading Income to trading income, net, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”

 

We refer to our market making activities as being “market neutral,” which means that we are not dependent on the direction of any particular market nor do we speculate. Our market making activities are designed to minimize capital at risk at any given time by limiting the notional size of our positions. Our strategies are also designed to lock in returns through precise hedging in the primary instrument or in one or more economically equivalent instruments, as we seek to eliminate the price risk in any positions held. Our revenue generation is driven primarily by transaction volume across a broad range of securities and other financial instruments, asset classes and geographies. We avoid the risk of long or short positions in favor of seeking to earn small bid/ask spreads on large trading volumes across thousands of securities and financial instruments.

 

We do not engage in the types of principal investing and predictive, momentum and signal trading in which many other broker‑dealers and trading firms engage. In fact, in order to minimize the likelihood of unintended activities by our market making strategies, if our risk management system detects a trading strategy generating revenues outside of our preset limits, it will freeze, or “lockdown,” that strategy and alert risk management personnel and management. Although this approach may prevent us from maximizing potential returns in times of extreme market volatility, we believe the reduction in risk is an appropriate trade‑off that is in keeping with our aim of generating consistently strong revenue from trading.

 

Our market making activities employ the following three basic strategies: a “single instrument” market making strategy, a “one to one” market making strategy and a “one to many” market making strategy. The single instrument market making strategy involves actively quoting in a single instrument with the intention of profiting by capturing the spread between the bid and offer. This strategy places buy orders, or bids, and sell orders, or offers, in the market for the subject instrument at or near the inside of the market with the intention of achieving an execution. If another market participant executes against the strategy’s bid or offer by crossing the spread, the strategy will attempt to exit the position by continuing to quote on the opposite side of the market in order to execute an offsetting position. The one to one market making strategy involves continuously quoting a two‑sided market in a single instrument with the intention of

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either capturing the spread in the primary instrument or locking in a return by hedging in a different but economically similar instrument. The one to many market making strategy involves continuously quoting a two‑sided market in a primary instrument (typically an ETF) with the intention of either capturing the spread in the primary instrument or attempting to lock in a return by hedging in a basket of instruments that represent an economically equivalent value to the primary instrument.

 

Technology and operational efficiency are at the core of our business, and our focus on market making technology is a key element of our success. We have developed a proprietary, multi‑asset, multi‑currency technology platform that is highly reliable, scalable and modular, and we integrate directly with exchanges and other liquidity centers. Our market data, order routing, transaction processing, risk management and market surveillance technology modules manage our market making activities in an efficient manner and enable us to scale our market making activities globally and across additional securities and other financial instruments and asset classes without significant incremental costs or third‑party licensing or processing fees.

 

We are a self‑clearing registered broker‑dealer in the U.S. and are registered with the Central Bank of Ireland for our European trading. We participate on more than 230 unique exchanges, markets and liquidity pools globally as of December 31, 2015, and register as a market maker or liquidity provider and/or enter into direct obligations to provide liquidity on nearly every exchange or venue that offers such programs. We engage regularly with regulators around the world on issues affecting electronic trading and have been a proponent with the SEC of affirmative market making obligations for electronic market makers in U.S. equities in an effort to enhance the transparency and liquidity provided to capital markets. In the U.S., we conduct our business from our headquarters in New York, New York and our trading center in Austin, Texas. Abroad, we conduct our business through trading centers located in Dublin and Singapore.

 

 

 

 

Our Market Making

 

As a leading, low‑cost market maker dedicated to providing improved efficiency and liquidity across multiple securities, asset classes and geographies, we aim to provide critical market functionality and robust price competition, leading to reduced trading costs and more efficient pricing in the securities and other financial instruments in which we provide liquidity. This contribution to the financial markets, and the scale and diversity of our market making activities, provides added liquidity and transparency, which we believe are necessary and valued components to the efficient functioning of market infrastructure and benefit all market participants. We support transparent and efficient, technologically advanced marketplaces, and advocate for legislation and regulation that promotes fair and transparent access to markets.

 

We make markets in a number of different assets classes, which are discussed in more detail below.

 

Americas Equities

 

Americas equities trading accounted for approximately 27% and 26% of our Adjusted Net Trading Income for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. We trade approximately 6,000 Americas equity securities including, among others, equity related futures and exchange traded funds, on eleven SEC registered exchanges as well as other alternative trading systems, including the NYSE, the NASDAQ, Direct Edge, NYSE Arca, BATS and IEX, the TSX in Canada, Bovespa in Brazil and BMV in Mexico, and we connect to more than 20 private liquidity pools. In 2011, we became a DMM in over 260 stocks on the floor of the NYSE and the NYSE MKT (formerly NYSE Amex), and we are seeking to increase the number of listed NYSE stocks for which we serve as a DMM.

 

As exchange traded funds, or “ETFs,” and other similar products have proliferated both domestically and internationally, demand has increased for trading the underlying assets or hedging such funds. Our technology has enabled us to expand into providing liquidity to this growing area by making markets across these assets in a variety of trading venues globally. We are authorized participants and can create and/or redeem ETFs in Americas equities, EMEA equities and APAC equities.

 

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EMEA Equities

 

EMEA equities trading accounted for approximately 12% and 12% of our Adjusted Net Trading Income for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Similar to our strategy in the Americas, we utilize direct connections to all of the registered exchanges in a particular jurisdiction including the LSE, BATS Europe and NYSE Euronext, as well as any additional pools of liquidity to which we can gain access either directly or through a broker. We are also well positioned in European ETFs, as an authorized participant in many European ETFs. In addition, after our acquisition of the ETF market making assets of Nyenburgh, we provide two‑sided liquidity to a significant number of counterparties throughout Europe.

 

APAC Equities

 

APAC equities trading accounted for approximately 9% and 7% of our Adjusted Net Trading Income for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. We utilize direct connections to the ASX, TSX and SGX, among other exchanges and liquidity pools.

 

Global Commodities

 

Trading in global commodities accounted for approximately 23% and 21% of our Adjusted Net Trading Income for the years ended December, 2015 and 2014, respectively. During these periods, we were a leading participant and liquidity provider on both the CME and ICE in trading crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, gasoline futures and precious metals. We trade approximately 100 energy products and futures on the ICE, CME, TOCOM and NYSE Liffe US. We also actively trade precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum and palladium, as well as base metals such as aluminum and copper.

 

Global Currencies

 

Trading in global currencies, including spot, futures and forwards, accounted for approximately 22% and 25% of our Adjusted Net Trading Income for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. During these periods, we were a leading participant in the major foreign exchange venues, including Reuters, Currenex, Hotspot FX and EBS. Currency trading has historically utilized intermediaries and large broker‑dealers, and as a result, market making opportunities in foreign exchange have been limited.

 

Options, Fixed Income and Other Securities

 

Trading in options, U.S. and foreign government fixed income products and other products accounted for approximately 6% and 10% of our Adjusted Net Trading Income for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. We trade these products on a variety of specialized exchanges and other trading venues, including all of the U.S. options exchanges of which we are a member (i.e., CBOE, ISE and NYSE Arca) and through the U.S. futures exchanges. We believe that we can increase our volumes in certain of these products.

 

Technology

 

Technology is at the core of our business. Our team of in-house software engineers develops all of our software and applications, and we utilize optimized infrastructure to integrate directly with the exchanges and other trading venues on which we provide liquidity. Wherever possible, we lease commercially available rack space that is co‑located with, or in close proximity to, the exchanges and other venues where we provide liquidity. We do not pay any licensing or per‑trade processing fees to any third parties, and the engineering cycles for enhancements or new technologies are entirely within our control. Our focus on technology and our ability to leverage our technology enables us to be one of the lowest cost providers of liquidity to the global electronic trading marketplace.

 

We have developed and refined, in‑house, a single proprietary, scalable and modular technology platform that we directly integrate with exchanges and other trading venues through our customized infrastructure to provide continuous bid and offer quotations on a wide variety of assets traded electronically around the world. Our platform

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incorporates market data and evaluates risk exposure on a real‑time basis to update outstanding quotes often many times per second, enabling us to offer competitive bid/ask spreads. Our high degree of automation reduces our costs, and we believe our cost per trade is as low as or lower than any other market participants. Leveraging the scalability and low costs of our platform, we are able to test and rapidly deploy new liquidity provisioning strategies, expand to new securities, asset classes and geographies and increase transaction volumes at little incremental cost. These efficiencies are central to our ability to deliver consistently positive Adjusted Net Trading Income as our profitability per trade and per instrument is not significant, particularly in U.S. equities.

 

Our transaction processing is automated over the full life cycle of a trade. Our platform generates and disseminates continuous bid and offer quotes on over 12,000 tradable listed products. At the moment a trade is executed, our systems capture and deliver this information back to the source, in most cases within a fraction of a second, and the trade record is written into our clearing system, where it flows through a chain of control accounts that allow us to reconcile trades, positions and payments until the final settlement occurs.

 

Our core software technology is developed internally, and we do not generally rely on outside vendors for software development or maintenance. To achieve optimal performance from our systems, we continuously test and upgrade our software. Our focus on cutting‑edge technology not only improves our performance but also helps us attract and retain talented developers.

 

Virtually all of our software has been developed and maintained with a unified purpose. We track and test new software releases with proprietary automated testing tools and are not hindered by disparate or limiting legacy systems assembled through acquisitions.

 

We have built and continuously refine our automated and integrated, real‑time systems for global trading, risk management, clearing and cash management, among other purposes. We have also assembled a proprietary connectivity network between us and exchanges around the world. Efficiency and speed in performing prescribed functions are always crucial requirements for our systems, and generally we focus on opportunities in markets that are sufficiently advanced to allow the seamless deployment of our automated strategies, risk management system and core technology.

 

Our systems are monitored 24 hours a day, five days a week by our core operations team and are substantially identical across our four offices, in New York, New York, Austin, Texas, Dublin, Ireland and Singapore. This redundancy covers our full technology platform, including our market data, order routing, transaction processing, risk management and market surveillance technology modules. Because our systems can be operated by qualified personnel in any office at any time across our globally distributed offices, we have an effective, organic disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place, allowing for seamless operation of our trading strategies in the event of disruption.

 

Risk Management

 

We are intensely focused on risk management and monitor our activities on a continuous basis using our fully integrated technology systems. Our market making strategies are designed to put minimal capital at risk at any given time by limiting the notional size of our positions. Our strategies are also designed to lock in returns through precise hedging in the primary instrument or in one or more economically equivalent instruments, as we seek to eliminate the price risk in any positions held. Our real‑time risk management system is built into our trading platform and is an integral part of our order life‑cycle, analyzing real‑time pricing data and ensuring that our order activity is conducted within strict pre‑determined trading and position limits. If our risk management system detects that a trading strategy is generating revenues or losses in excess of our preset limits, it will lockdown that strategy and alert management. In addition, our risk management system continuously reconciles our internal transaction records against the records of the exchanges and other liquidity centers with which we interact.

 

Risk management is at the core of our trading infrastructure. Our real‑time risk controls monitor all of our market making positions, incorporating market data and evaluating our risk exposure to continuously update our outstanding bid and offer quotes, often many times per second. Although our market making is automated, the trading process and our risk exposure are monitored by a team of individuals, including members of our senior management

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team, who oversee our risk management processes in real-time. Our risk management system is intrinsic to our trading infrastructure that is utilized in each of our four trading centers.

 

Our risk management policies are set by our Risk Advisory Committee and overseen by our Chief Risk Officer. We utilize the following three‑pronged approach to managing risk:

 

·

Strategy Lockdowns.  Messages that leave our trading environment must first pass through a series of preset risk controls, or “lockdowns,” which are intended to minimize the likelihood of unintended activities by our market making algorithms, and which cannot be modified by our traders. Not only do we implement preset risk controls to limit downside risk, but we also do the same to limit upside risk — if our risk management system detects that a trading strategy is generating revenues or losses in excess of our preset limits, a lockdown will be triggered. When a lockdown is triggered, our risk management system alerts us and automatically freezes the applicable trading strategy, cancels all applicable open orders and prevents the placement of additional related orders. Following a lockdown, a trader must manually reset the applicable trading strategy. While this risk prevention layer adds a degree of latency to our trading infrastructure and can prevent us from earning outsized returns in times of extreme market volatility, we believe that this trade‑off is necessary to properly limit our downside risk.

 

·

Aggregate Exposure Monitoring.  Pursuant to our risk management policies, our automated management information systems generate reports in real‑time, as well as on daily and periodic bases. These reports include risk profiles, profit and loss analyses and trading performance reports. Our assets and liabilities are marked‑to‑market daily for financial reporting purposes by reference to official exchange prices, and they are re‑valued continuously throughout the trading day for risk management and asset/liability management purposes.

 

·

Operational Controls.  We have automated the full cycle of controls of our business. Key automated controls include:

 

·

our technical operations system continuously monitors our network and the proper functioning of each of our trading centers around the world;

 

·

our market making system continuously evaluates over 11,000 listed securities in which we provide bid and offer quotes and changes its bids and offers in such a way as to minimize exposure to directional price movements. The speed of communicating with exchanges and market centers is maximized through continuous software and network engineering innovation, allowing us to achieve real‑time controls over market exposure. We connect to exchanges and other electronic venues through a network of co‑location facilities around the world that are monitored 24 hours a day, five days a week, by our staff of experienced network professionals;

 

·

our clearing system captures trades in real-time and performs automated reconciliations of trades and positions, corporate action processing, options exercises, securities lending and inventory management, allowing us to effectively manage operational risk; and

 

·

software developed to support our market making systems performs daily profit and loss and position reconciliations.

 

In addition, we seek to minimize our liquidity risk by focusing our trading in highly active and liquid instruments. The diversity of assets and venues in which we provide liquidity serves as a further form of portfolio risk management.

 

Our Risk Advisory Committee includes key personnel from each of our locations globally and is comprised of our Chief Risk Officer, members of our senior management team, senior technologists and traders, and certain senior compliance officers. Our board of directors is regularly apprised of the activities of our Risk Advisory Committee and

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our risk management policies, procedures and controls through board updates and other communications. All of our risk controls and settings are reviewed and approved by our Risk Advisory Committee.

 

Competition

 

Historically, our competition has been registered market making firms ranging from sole proprietors with very limited resources to large, integrated broker‑dealers. Today, a range of market participants may compete with us for revenues generated by market making activities across one or more asset classes and geographies, including large broker‑dealers, such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley and UBS, and other participants, such as Citadel, DRW Holdings, Hudson River Trading, IMC, KCG Holdings, Optiver, Susquehanna, Timber Hill and Wolverine Trading. Some of our competitors in market making are larger than we are and have more captive order flow in certain assets. We believe that the high cost of developing a competitive technological framework is a significant barrier to entry by new market participants.

 

We believe that we must have more sophisticated, versatile and robust software than our competitors in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Technology and software innovation is a primary focus for us, rather than relying solely on the speed of our network. We believe that our scalable technology allows us to access new markets and increase volumes with limited incremental costs.

 

In addition, we believe our lack of direct customers and customer accounts allows us increased flexibility as we face fewer constraints in reallocating resources to pursue market opportunities as they arise. We are also a self‑clearing DTC participant, so we avoid paying clearing fees to third parties in our U.S. equities market making business.

 

Intellectual Property and Other Proprietary Rights

 

We rely primarily on trade secret, trademark, domain name, copyright and contract law to protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology. We enter into confidentiality, intellectual property invention assignment and/or non‑competition and non‑solicitation agreements or restrictions with our employees, independent contractors and business partners, and we strictly control access to, and distribution of, our intellectual property.

 

Employees

 

As of December 31, 2015, we had 148 employees, all of whom were employed on a full‑time basis. None of our employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. We believe that our employee relations are good.

 

Regulation

 

We conduct our U.S. equities market making activities through our two SEC‑registered broker‑dealers, Virtu Financial BD LLC and Virtu Financial Capital Markets LLC. Virtu Financial BD LLC is a self‑clearing broker‑dealer, is regulated by the SEC and its designated examining authority is the Chicago Stock Exchange. Virtu Financial Capital Markets LLC is a dual‑clearing broker‑dealer (which means it self‑clears its proprietary transactions and executes on an agency basis on behalf of its 100% commonly held affiliates and non-affiliated broker dealers), is regulated by the SEC and its designated examining authority is FINRA.

 

Our activities in U.S. equities are almost entirely self‑cleared. We are a full clearing member of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC), and the DTC. In other asset classes, we use the services of prime brokers who provide us direct market access to markets and often cross‑margining and margin financing in return for an execution and clearing fee. We continually monitor the credit quality of our prime brokers and rely on large multinational banks for most of our execution and clearing needs globally.

 

Our energy, commodities and currency market making and trading activities are primarily conducted through Virtu Financial Global Markets LLC.

 

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We conduct our EMEA market making and trading activities from Dublin and through our Irish subsidiaries, Virtu Financial Ireland Limited, which is authorized as an “Investment Firm” with the Central Bank of Ireland, and Virtu Financial Europe Limited.

 

We conduct our APAC market making and trading activities from Singapore and through our Singapore subsidiary, Virtu Financial Singapore Pte. Ltd., and our Australian subsidiary, Virtu Financial Asia Pty. Ltd. Virtu Financial Singapore Pte. Ltd. is registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore for an investment incentive arrangement, and Virtu Financial Asia Pty. Ltd. holds a financial services license issued by, and is therefore subject to the regulatory oversight of, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

 

Most aspects of our business are subject to extensive regulation under federal, state and foreign laws and regulations, as well as the rules of the various SROs of which our subsidiaries are members. The SEC, CFTC, state securities regulators, FCA, SFC, FINRA, NFA, other SROs and other U.S. and foreign governmental regulatory bodies promulgate numerous rules and regulations that may impact our business. As a matter of public policy, regulatory bodies are charged with safeguarding the integrity of the securities and other financial markets and with protecting the interests of investors in those markets. Regulated entities are subject to regulations concerning all aspects of their business, including trading practices, order handling, best execution practices, anti‑money laundering, handling of material non‑public information, safeguarding data, securities credit, capital adequacy, reporting, record retention, market access and the conduct of officers, employees and other associated persons. We do not carry customer accounts and are therefore exempt from otherwise applicable SEC requirements relating to the protection of customer securities and the maintenance of a cash reserve account for the benefit of customers.

 

Rulemaking by these and other regulators (foreign and domestic), including resulting market structure changes, has had an impact on our regulated subsidiaries by directly affecting our method of operation and, at times, our profitability. Legislation can impose, and has imposed, significant obligations on broker‑dealers, including our regulated subsidiaries. These increased obligations require the implementation and maintenance of internal practices, procedures and controls which have increased our costs and may subject us to government and regulatory inquiries, claims or penalties.

 

Failure to comply with any laws, rules or regulations could result in administrative or court proceedings, censures, fines, penalties, disgorgement and censures, suspension or expulsion from a certain jurisdiction, SRO or market, the revocation or limitation of licenses, the issuance of cease‑and‑desist orders or injunctions or the suspension or disqualification of the entity and/or its officers, employees or other associated persons. These administrative or court proceedings, whether or not resulting in adverse findings, can require substantial expenditures of time and money and can have an adverse impact on a firm’s reputation and profitability.

 

The regulatory environment in which we operate is subject to constant change. Our business, financial condition and operating results may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations imposed by the U.S. Congress, foreign legislative bodies, state securities regulators, U.S. and foreign governmental regulatory bodies and SROs. Additional regulations, changes in existing laws and rules, or changes in interpretations or enforcement of existing laws and rules often directly affect the method of operation and profitability of regulated broker‑dealers. Since March 2014, we and other broker‑dealers and trading firms have been the subject of requests for information and documents from the SEC and NYAG. We have cooperated and complied with the SEC’s and NYAG’s requests for information and documents. We cannot predict what effect, if any, such changes might have. However, there have been in the past, and could be in the future, significant technological, operational and compliance costs associated with the obligations which derive from compliance with such regulations.

 

On July 21, 2010, the Dodd‑Frank Act was enacted in the U.S. Implementation of the Dodd‑Frank Act is being be accomplished through extensive rulemaking by the SEC, the CFTC and other governmental agencies. The Dodd‑Frank Act includes the “Volcker Rule,” which significantly limits the ability of banks and their affiliates to engage in proprietary trading, and Title VII, which provides a framework for the regulation of the swap markets. The CFTC has largely finalized its rules with respect to those swaps markets and participants it regulates, while the SEC has not yet completed all of its rules relating to security‑based swaps. One of our subsidiaries is registered with the CFTC as a floor

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trader, and is exempt from registration as a swap dealer based on its current activity. Registration as a swap dealer would subject our subsidiary to various requirements, including those related to capital, conduct, and reporting.

 

We have foreign subsidiaries and plan to continue to expand our international presence. The market making industry in many foreign countries is heavily regulated, much like in the U.S. The varying compliance requirements of these different regulatory jurisdictions and other factors may limit our ability to conduct business or expand internationally. For example, Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”), which was implemented in November 2007, is now under further review by the European Parliament. MiFID represented one of the more significant changes to take place in the operation of European capital markets. In October 2012, the European Parliament adopted, with amendments, MiFID II/MiFIR. MiFID II entered into force on July 2, 2014 with an effective date of January 3, 2017.   It is widely expected that the effective date will be delayed to 2018.  Some broader trends of the proposals address increased transparency and oversight of financial firms, with a focus on high frequency trading, broker liquidity private pools, crossing networks and multilateral trading facilities. For example, the current proposal would require firms like us to conduct all trading on European markets through authorized investment firms. MiFID II/MiFIR will also require certain types of firms, including us, to post firm quotes at competitive prices and will supplement current requirements with regard to investment firms’ risk controls related to the safe operation of electronic systems. MiFID II/MiFIR may also impose additional requirements on our trading platforms, such as a minimum order resting time, cancellation fees, circuit breakers and limits on the ratio of unexecuted orders to trades. Each of these proposals may impose technological and compliance costs on us. Any of these laws, rules or regulations, if adopted, as well as any regulatory or legal actions or proceedings, changes in legislation or regulation and changes in market customs and practices could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Certain of our subsidiaries are subject to regulatory capital rules of the SEC, FINRA, other SROs and foreign regulators. These rules, which specify minimum capital requirements for our regulated subsidiaries, are designed to measure the general financial integrity and liquidity of a broker‑dealer and require that at least a minimum part of its assets be kept in relatively liquid form. Failure to maintain required minimum capital may subject a regulated subsidiary to a fine, requirement to cease conducting business, suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion by applicable regulatory authorities, and ultimately could require the relevant entity’s liquidation. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business — Failure to comply with applicable regulatory capital requirements could subject us to sanctions imposed by the SEC, FINRA and other SROs or regulatory bodies.”

 

Corporate History

 

We and our predecessors have been in the electronic trading and market making business for approximately 12 years. We conduct our business through Virtu Financial LLC (“Virtu Financial”) and its subsidiaries. On July 8, 2011, we completed our acquisition of Madison Tyler Holdings, which was co-founded in 2002 by Mr. Vincent Viola, our Founder and Executive Chairman. In connection with the acquisition, Virtu Financial paid approximately $536.5 million in cash and issued interests in Virtu Financial to the members of Madison Tyler Holdings and Virtu Financial Operating LLC ("Virtu East"). To finance the Madison Tyler Transactions, (i) an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners invested approximately $250.0 million in Virtu Financial, (ii) an affiliate of Mr. Viola invested approximately $19.6 million in Virtu Financial and (iii) Virtu Financial borrowed approximately $304.4 million, net of fees and expenses, under a term loan facility, which we refer to (as amended to date) as our "senior secured credit facility." The business that comprises Virtu Financial today is the result of the Madison Tyler Transactions, which combined Virtu East, our historical business, with Madison Tyler Holdings.

 

On December 31, 2014, through a series of transactions, Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited, whom we refer to as "Temasek," acting through two indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, acquired (i) direct interests in Virtu Financial from affiliates of Silver Lake Partners, Virtu Financial and a member of management (other than Messrs. Viola and Cifu and their affiliates) and (ii) indirect interests in Virtu Financial by acquiring an interest in an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners.

 

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The Reorganization Transactions

 

Prior to the consummation of the reorganization transactions described below and our initial public offering, all of Virtu Financial's outstanding equity interests, including its Class A-1 interests, Class A-2 capital interests, Class A-2 profits interests and Class B interests, were owned by the following persons, whom we refer to collectively as the "Virtu Pre-IPO Members":

 

·

three affiliates of Mr. Viola, whom we refer to collectively as the "Founder Pre-IPO Members";

 

·

an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners, whom we refer to as the "Silver Lake Pre-IPO Member";

 

·

an affiliate of Temasek, whom we refer to as the "Temasek Pre-IPO Member";

 

·

an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners and Temasek, whom we refer to as the "SLT Pre-IPO Member" and whom we refer to collectively with the Silver Lake Pre-IPO Member and the Temasek Pre-IPO Member as the "Investor Pre-IPO Members";

 

·

two entities, both of which were managed by Mr. Viola, whose equityholders included certain members of the management of Virtu Financial, whom we refer to together as the "Management Vehicles." Certain of the equity interests held by the Management Vehicles were subject to vesting restrictions; and

 

·

certain current and former members of the management of Virtu Financial and Madison Tyler Holdings and their affiliates, whom we refer to collectively as the "Management Members." Certain of the equity interests held by the Management Members were subject to vesting restrictions.

 

Prior to the completion of our initial public offering, we completed an internal reorganization, which we refer to as the "reorganization transactions." In connection with the reorganization transactions, the following steps occurred:

 

·

we became the sole managing member of Virtu Financial;

 

·

in a series of transactions, one of the Management Vehicles liquidated, with its equity interests in Virtu Financial either being distributed to its members, including certain members of management, or contributed to the other Management Vehicle (which we refer to as "Virtu Employee Holdco") and certain employees of ours based outside the United States were distributed equity interests in Virtu Financial held by Virtu Employee Holdco on behalf of such employees and such equity interests were contributed to a trust (which we refer to as the "Employee Trust"), whose trustee is one of our subsidiaries;

 

·

two of the Founder Pre-IPO Members liquidated and distributed their equity interests in Virtu Financial to their equityholders, one of whom was TJMT Holdings LLC, the third Founder Pre-IPO Member;

 

·

the SLT Pre-IPO Member distributed its equity interests in Virtu Financial to its equityholders, which consisted of investment funds and other entities affiliated with Silver Lake Partners and Temasek;

 

·

following a series of transactions, we acquired equity interests in Virtu Financial as a result of certain mergers involving wholly owned subsidiaries of ours, an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners and Temasek, and the Temasek Pre-IPO Member (the "Mergers"), and in exchange we issued to an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners, whom we refer to as the "Silver Lake Post-IPO Stockholder," and an affiliate of Temasek, whom we refer to as the "Temasek Post-IPO Stockholder" and whom we refer to together with the Silver Lake Post-IPO Stockholder as the "Investor Post-IPO Stockholders," shares of our Class A common stock and rights to receive payments under a tax receivable agreement described below. The number of shares of Class A common stock issued to the Investor Post-IPO Stockholders was based on the value of the Virtu Financial equity interests that we acquired, which was determined based on a hypothetical liquidation of Virtu Financial and the initial public offering price per share of our Class A common stock in our initial public offering;

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·

all of the existing equity interests in Virtu Financial were reclassified into Virtu Financial's non-voting common interest units, which we refer to as "Virtu Financial Units." The number of Virtu Financial Units issued to each member of Virtu Financial was determined based on a hypothetical liquidation of Virtu Financial and the initial public offering price per share of our Class A common stock in our initial public offering. The Virtu Financial Units received by Virtu Employee Holdco, the Employee Trust and the Management Members have the same vesting restrictions as the equity interests that were reclassified. Vested Virtu Financial Units are entitled to receive distributions, if any, from Virtu Financial. Subject to certain exceptions, unvested Virtu Financial Units are not entitled to receive such distributions (other than tax distributions). If any unvested Virtu Financial Units are forfeited, they are cancelled by Virtu Financial for no consideration (and we cancel the related shares of Class C common stock (described below) for no consideration);

 

·

we amended and restated our certificate of incorporation and are authorized to issue four classes of common stock: Class A common stock, Class B common stock, Class C common stock and Class D common stock, which we refer to collectively as our "common stock." The Class A common stock and Class C common stock each provide holders with one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, and the Class B common stock and Class D common stock each provide holders with 10 votes on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders. The holders of Class C common stock and Class D common stock do not have any of the economic rights (including rights to dividends and distributions upon liquidation) provided to holders of Class A common stock and Class B common stock. These attributes are summarized in the following table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class of Common Stock

 

Votes

 

Economic Rights

Class A of common stock

 

1

 

Yes

Class B of common stock

 

10

 

Yes

Class C of common stock

 

1

 

No

Class D of common stock

 

10

 

No

 

Shares of our common stock generally vote together as a single class on all matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders;

 

·

the remaining members of Virtu Financial after giving effect to the reorganization transactions, other than us, whom we refer to collectively as the "Virtu Post-IPO Members," subscribed for and purchased shares of our common stock as follows, in each case at a purchase price of $0.00001 per share and in an amount equal to the number of Virtu Financial Units held by each such Virtu Post-IPO Member:

 

·

TJMT Holdings LLC, whom we refer to as the "Founder Post-IPO Member," purchased 79,610,490 shares of our Class D common stock; and

 

·

affiliates of Silver Lake Partners, whom we refer to as the "Silver Lake Post-IPO Members," Virtu Employee Holdco, the Employee Trust, the Management Members and the other Virtu Post-IPO Members purchased 36,746,041 shares of our Class C common stock; and

 

·

the Founder Post-IPO Member was granted the right to exchange its Virtu Financial Units, together with a corresponding number of shares of our Class D common stock, for shares of our Class B common stock, and the other Virtu Post-IPO Members were granted the right to exchange their Virtu Financial Units, together with a corresponding number of shares of our Class C common stock, for shares of our Class A common stock. Each share of our Class B common stock and Class D common stock is convertible at any time, at the option of the holder, into one share of Class A common stock or Class C common stock, respectively. 

 

The Founder Post-IPO Member controls approximately 93.1% of the combined voting power of our outstanding common stock. As a result, the Founder Post-IPO Member controls any action requiring the general approval of our stockholders, including the election of our board of directors, the adoption of amendments to our certificate of

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incorporation and by-laws and the approval of any merger or sale of substantially all of our assets. The Founder Post-IPO Member is controlled by family members of Mr. Viola, our Founder and Executive Chairman.

 

Initial Public Offering

 

On April 21, 2015, the Company completed its IPO of 19,012,112 shares of its Class A common stock, par value $0.00001 per share, including 2,479,840 shares of Class A common stock sold in connection with the full exercise of the option to purchase additional shares granted to the underwriters, at a price to the public of $19.00 per share. The shares began trading on NASDAQ on April 16, 2015 under the ticker symbol “VIRT.”

 

Upon consummation of the IPO, the total gross proceeds of the offering were approximately $361.2 million. Of the proceeds, approximately $25.2 million was used to pay underwriting discounts and commissions, approximately $277.2 million was used to purchase 3,470,724 shares of Class A common stock from affiliates of Silver Lake Partners (the “Silver Lake Post-IPO Stockholder”) and 12,214,224 Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock from certain of the Virtu Post-IPO Members, including 4,862,609 Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock from affiliates of the Silver Lake Partners (the “Silver Lake Post-IPO Members”) and 7,351,615 Virtu Financial Units from certain employees.  The remaining $58.8 million of net proceeds was contributed by the Company to Virtu Financial, the operating company, which will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. Other offering costs incurred were approximately $8.6 million and were paid by Virtu Financial.

 

Secondary Offering

 

In November 2015, the secondary offering (the “Secondary Offering”) of 6,473,371 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock was completed by the Company and certain selling stockholders affiliated with Silver Lake Partners.  The selling stockholders sold 6,075,837 shares of Class A common stock and the Company sold 397,534 shares of Class A common stock at a price to the public of $22.15 per share.  The selling stockholders received all of the net proceeds from the sale of shares of Class A common stock by them in the offering.  The Company used its net proceeds from the offering to purchase common units in Virtu Financial (and paired shares of Class C common stock) from one of its non-executive employees at a net price equal to the price paid by the underwriters for shares of its Class A common stock.  Following the Secondary Offering, Silver Lake Partners no longer holds any equity interest in us.  As a result of the completion of the IPO, the reorganization transactions and the Secondary Offering, the Company holds approximately 27.5% interest in Virtu Financial at December 31, 2015.

 

Available Information

 

Our internet address is www.virtu.com and the investor relations section of our web site is located at www.ir.virtu.com. We make available free of charge, on or through the investor relations section of our web site, this Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as proxy statements, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to the SEC. Also posted on our web site are our Bylaws, our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, charters for the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our board of directors. In addition, our web site includes information concerning purchases and sales of our equity securities by our executive officers and directors, as well as disclosure relating to certain non-GAAP financial measures (as defined in Regulation G) promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the ‘‘Securities Act’’) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the ‘‘Exchange Act’’) that we may make public orally, telephonically, by webcast, by broadcast or by similar means from time to time.  Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference unless specifically referenced herein. We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act and therefore file periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Such reports may be obtained by visiting the Public Reference Room of the SEC at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20549, or by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. In addition, the SEC maintains an internet site (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically. To the extent required by the SEC's rules and regulations, we intend to post amendments to or waivers from, if any, provisions of our Code of Conduct and Ethics (to

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the extent applicable to our directors, principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer) at this location on our website. Our stockholders may also obtain these documents in paper format free of charge upon request made to our Investor Relations department.

 

Our Investor Relations Department can be contacted at Virtu Financial, Inc., 900 Third Avenue, 29th Floor, New York, NY, 10022, Attn: Investor Relations, e-mail: investor_relations@virtu.com.

 

Our 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “2016 Annual Meeting”) will be held on June 14, 2016 at our offices located on 900 Third Avenue, 29th Floor.  Stockholder proposals intended to be included in our proxy materials pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 14a-8 and presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “2016 Annual Meeting”) must be delivered to our Secretary at our executive office no later than the close of business on April 15, 2016. Such proposals must also comply with all applicable provisions of Exchange Act Rule 14a-8.  Stockholder proposals submitted for consideration at the 2016 Annual Meeting but not submitted for inclusion in our proxy materials pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 14a-8, and stockholder nominations for candidates for election as directors, must be delivered to our Secretary at our executive office no later than April 4, 2016 (assuming the Company does not delay the date of the 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders by more than 30 days) and must comply with the other provisions of our amended and restated bylaws.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Investing in our Class A common stock involves substantial risks. In addition to the other information in this annual report, you should carefully consider the following factors before investing in our Class A common stock. Any of the risk factors we describe below could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. The market price of our Class A common stock could decline if one or more of these risks or uncertainties develop into actual events, causing you to lose all or part of your investment. While we believe these risks and uncertainties are especially important for you to consider, we may face other risks and uncertainties that could have a material adverse effect on our business. Certain statements contained in the risk factors described below are forward-looking statements. See "Forward-Looking Statements" for more information.

 

Risks Related to Our Business

Because our revenues and profitability depend on trading volume and volatility in the markets in which we operate, they are subject to factors beyond our control, are prone to significant fluctuations and are difficult to predict.

Our revenues and profitability depend in part on the level of trading activity of securities, derivatives and other financial products on exchanges and in other trading venues in the U.S. and abroad, which are directly affected by factors beyond our control, including economic and political conditions, broad trends in business and finance and changes in the markets in which such transactions occur. Weaknesses in the markets in which we operate, including economic slowdowns in recent years, have historically resulted in reduced trading volumes for us. Declines in trading volumes generally result in lower revenues from market making and transaction execution activities. Lower levels of volatility generally have the same directional impact. Declines in market values of securities or other financial instruments can also result in illiquid markets, which can also result in lower revenues and profitability from market making and transaction execution activities. Lower price levels of securities and other financial instruments, as well as compressed bid/ask spreads, which often follow lower pricing, can further result in reduced revenues and profitability. These factors can also increase the potential for losses on securities or other financial instruments held in inventory and failures of buyers and sellers to fulfill their obligations and settle their trades, as well as claims and litigation. Any of the foregoing factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In the past, our revenues and operating results have varied significantly from period to period due primarily to movements and trends in the underlying markets and to fluctuations in trading volumes and volatility levels. As a result, period to period comparisons of our revenues and operating results may not be meaningful, and future revenues and profitability may be subject to significant fluctuations or declines.

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We are dependent upon our trading counterparties and clearing houses to perform their obligations to us.

Our business consists of providing consistent two‑sided liquidity to market participants across numerous geographies and asset classes. In the event of a systemic market event, resulting from large price movements or otherwise, certain market participants may not be able to meet their obligations to their trading counterparties, who, in turn, may not be able to meet their obligations to their other trading counterparties, which could lead to major defaults by one or more market participants. Following the implementation of certain mandates under the Dodd‑Frank Act in the U.S. and similar legislation worldwide, many trades in the securities and futures markets, and an increasing number of trades in the over‑the‑counter derivatives markets, are cleared through central counterparties. These central counterparties assume, and specialize in managing, counterparty performance risk relating to such trades. However, even when trades are cleared in this manner, there can be no assurance that a clearing house’s risk management methodology will be adequate to manage one or more defaults. Given the concentration of counterparty performance risk that is concentrated in central clearing parties, any failure by a clearing house to properly manage a default could lead to a systemic market failure. If our trading counterparties do not meet their obligations to us, or if any central clearing parties fail to properly manage defaults by market participants, we could suffer a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may incur losses in our market making activities in the event of failures of our customized trading platform.

The success of our market making business is substantially dependent on the accuracy and performance of our customized trading platform, which evaluates and monitors the risks inherent in our market making strategies, assimilates market data and reevaluates our outstanding quotes continuously throughout the trading day. Our strategies are designed to automatically rebalance our positions throughout the trading day to manage risk exposures on our positions. Flaws in our strategies, latencies or inaccuracies in the market data that we use to generate our quotes, or human error in managing risk parameters or other strategy inputs, may lead to unexpected and unprofitable trades, which may result in material trading losses and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may incur material trading losses from our market making activities.

A significant portion of our revenues are derived from our trading as principal in our role as a formal or registered market maker and liquidity provider on various exchanges and markets, including as a designated market maker (“DMM”) on the New York Stock Exchange. We may incur trading losses relating to these activities since each primarily involves the purchase, sale or short sale of securities, futures and other financial instruments for our own account. In any period, we may incur significant trading losses for a variety of reasons, including price changes, lack of liquidity in instruments in which we have positions and the required performance of our market making obligations. Furthermore, we may from time to time develop large position concentrations in securities or other financial instruments of a single issuer or issuers engaged in a specific industry, or alternatively a single future or other financial instrument, which would result in the risk of higher trading losses than if our concentration were lower.

These risks may limit or restrict, for example, our ability to either resell securities we have purchased or to repurchase securities we have sold. In addition, we may experience difficulty borrowing securities to make delivery to purchasers to whom we have sold securities short or lenders from whom we have borrowed securities.

In our role as a market maker, we attempt to derive a profit from bid/ask spreads. However, competitive forces often require us to match or improve upon the quotes that other market makers display, thereby narrowing bid/ask spreads, and to hold long or short positions in securities, futures or other financial instruments. We cannot assure you that we will be able to manage these risks successfully or that we will not experience significant losses from such activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our risk management activities utilize a four‑pronged approach, consisting of strategy lockdowns, centralized strategy monitoring, aggregate exposure monitoring and operational controls. In particular, messages that leave our trading environment first must pass through a series of preset risk controls or “lockdowns” that are intended to minimize the likelihood of unintended activities. In certain cases this layer of risk management, which adds a layer of latency to

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our process, may limit our ability to profit from acute volatility in the markets. This would be the case, for example, where a particular strategy being utilized by one of our traders is temporarily locked down for generating revenue in excess of the preset risk limit. Even if we are able to quickly and correctly identify the reasons for a lockdown and quickly resume the trading strategy, we may limit our potential upside as a result of our risk management policies.

The valuation of the securities we hold at any particular time may result in large and occasionally anomalous swings in the value of our positions and in our earnings in any period.

The market prices of our long and short positions are reflected on our books at closing prices, which are typically the last trade prices before the official close of the primary exchange on which each such security trades. Given that we manage a globally integrated portfolio, we may have large and substantially offsetting positions in securities that trade on different exchanges that close at different times of the trading day and may be denominated in different currencies. Further, there may be large and occasionally anomalous swings in the value of our positions on any particular day and in our earnings in any period. Such swings may be especially pronounced on the last business day of each calendar quarter, as the discrepancy in official closing prices resulting from the asynchronous closing times may cause us to recognize a gain or loss in one quarter which would be substantially offset by a corresponding loss or gain in the following quarter.

We are exposed to losses due to lack of perfect information.

As a market maker, we provide liquidity by consistently buying securities from sellers and selling securities to buyers. We may at times trade with others who have information that is more accurate or complete than the information we have, and as a result we may accumulate unfavorable positions preceding large price movements in a given instrument. Should the frequency or magnitude of these events increase, our losses would likely increase correspondingly, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We face competition in our market making activities.

Revenues from our market making activities depend on our ability to offer to buy and sell financial instruments at prices that are attractive and represent the best bid and/or offer in a given instrument at a given time. To attract order flow, we compete with other firms not only on our ability to provide liquidity at competitive prices, but also on other factors such as order execution speed and technology. Our competitors include other registered market makers, as well as unregulated or lesser‑regulated trading firms that also compete to provide liquidity. Our competitors range from sole proprietors with very limited resources to highly sophisticated groups, hedge funds, well‑capitalized broker‑dealers and proprietary trading firms or other market makers that have substantially greater financial and other resources than we do. These larger and better capitalized competitors may be better able to respond to changes in the market making industry, to compete for skilled professionals, to finance acquisitions, to fund internal growth, to manage costs and expenses and to compete for market share generally. Trading firms that are not registered as broker‑dealers or broker‑dealers not registered as market makers may in some instances have certain advantages over more regulated firms, including our subsidiaries, that may allow them to bypass regulatory restrictions and trade more cheaply than more regulated participants on some markets or exchanges. In addition, we may in the future face enhanced competition from new market participants that may also have substantially greater financial and other resources than we do, which may result in compressed bid/ask spreads in the marketplace that may negatively impact our financial performance. Moreover, current and potential competitors may establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties or may consolidate to enhance their services and products. The trend toward increased competition in our business is expected to continue, and it is possible that our competitors may acquire increased market share. Increased competition or consolidation in the marketplace could reduce the bid/ask spreads on which our business and profitability depend. As a result, there can be no assurance that we will be able to compete effectively with current or future competitors, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We are subject to liquidity risk in our operations.

We require liquidity to fund various ongoing obligations, including operating expenses, capital expenditures, debt service and dividend payments. Our main sources of liquidity are cash flow from the operations of our subsidiaries, our broker‑dealer revolving credit facility (described under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Credit Facilities”), margin financing provided by our prime brokers and cash on hand. Our liquidity could be materially impaired by a number of factors, including reduced business activity due to a market downturn, adverse regulatory action or a downgrade of our credit rating. If our business activities decrease or we are unable to borrow additional funds in the future on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all, we could suffer a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Self‑clearing and other elements of our trade processing operations expose us to significant operational, financial and liquidity risks.

We currently self‑clear substantially all of our domestic equity trades and may expand our self‑clearing operations internationally and across product offerings and asset classes in the future. Self‑clearing exposes our business to operational risks, including business disruption, operational inefficiencies, liquidity, financing risks, counterparty performance risk and potentially increased expenses and lost revenue opportunities. While our clearing platform, operational processes, risk methodologies, enhanced infrastructure and current and future financing arrangements have been carefully designed, we may nevertheless encounter difficulties that may lead to operating inefficiencies, including delays in implementation, disruption in the infrastructure that supports the business, inadequate liquidity and financial loss. Any such delay, disruption or failure could negatively impact our ability to effect transactions and manage our exposure to risk and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Rules governing designated market makers may require us to make unprofitable trades or prevent us from making profitable trades from time to time.

DMMs are granted certain rights and have certain obligations to “make a market” in a particular security. They agree to specific obligations that are designed to maintain a fair and orderly market. In acting as a DMM, we are subject to a high degree of risk by having to support an orderly market. In this role, we may at times be required to make trades that negatively impact our profitability. In addition, we may at times be unable to trade for our own account in circumstances in which it may be to our advantage to trade, and we may be obligated to act as a principal when buying and selling interest is unbalanced. In those instances, we may take a position counter to the market, buying or selling securities to support an orderly market. Additionally, the rules of the markets that govern our activities as a DMM and the interpretations of such rules are subject to change. If these rules or interpretations impose new or more stringent obligations on us, our trading revenues and profits as a DMM could be negatively impacted and we could suffer a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Regulatory and legal uncertainties could harm our business.

Securities and derivatives businesses are heavily regulated. Firms in the financial services industry have been subject to an increasingly regulated environment over recent years, and penalties and fines sought by regulatory authorities have increased considerably. In addition, following recent news media attention to electronic trading and market structure, this regulatory and enforcement environment has created uncertainty with respect to various types of transactions that historically had been entered into by financial services firms and that were generally believed to be permissible and appropriate. “High frequency” and other forms of low latency or electronic trading strategies continue to be the focus of extensive regulatory scrutiny by federal, state and foreign regulators and self‑regulatory organizations (“SROs”), and such scrutiny is likely to continue. While we do not engage in the type of principal investing or predictive, momentum or signal trading that are often associated with high frequency trading, our market making and trading activities are characterized by substantial volumes, an emphasis on technology and certain other characteristics that are also commonly associated with high frequency trading. Specifically, both the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) have issued general concept releases on market structure requesting comment from market participants on topics including, among others, high frequency trading, co‑location, dark liquidity, pre‑ and

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post‑trade risk controls and system safeguards. The SEC has adopted rules that, among other results, have significantly limited the use of sponsored access by market participants to the U.S. equities exchanges, imposed large trader reporting requirements, restricted short sales in listed securities under certain conditions and required the planning and creation of a new comprehensive consolidated audit trail. The SEC has also approved by order a pilot proposal by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the national securities exchanges establishing a “Limit Up‑Limit Down” mechanism to address market volatility.

In addition, certain market participants, SROs, government officials and regulators have requested that the U.S. Congress, the SEC, and the CFTC propose and adopt additional laws and rules, including rules relating to additional registration requirements, restrictions on co‑location, order‑to‑execution ratios, minimum quote life for orders, incremental messaging fees to be imposed by exchanges for “excessive” order placements and/or cancellations, further transaction taxes, tick sizes and other market structure proposals. For example, the SEC recently adopted Regulation SCI, which could impose significant compliance and other costs on market centers that may have to pass such costs on to their users, including us, and could impact our future business plans of establishing a market center to avoid or reduce market center costs for certain of our transactions. Similarly, the consolidated audit trail, which the SEC has required the SROs to propose a plan for and will require them to implement, is expected to entail significant costs both on market centers, which may pass these costs along to their users, and broker‑dealers directly. In May 2015, the SEC approved a proposal by the NYSE to adopt a new rule to conduct a daily single‑priced auction at a specified time in lower volume securities (“Midday Auction”). Beginning at a specified time, the NYSE would pause trading in the Midday Auction, suspend automatic executions and publish a zero quote on both the public and proprietary data feeds. The new rule could result in reduced opportunities for liquidity providers to provide liquidity in such lower‑volume securities outside the Midday Auction while reducing spreads during the Midday Auction. The SEC also required that the SROs propose a pilot program to increase the minimum trading increment, or “tick size,” for certain securities. The proposed pilot program approved by the SEC will include a “trade at” component, requiring that certain of these transactions occur only on an exchange. If not accompanied by a reduction in the fees paid to access liquidity on exchanges, the trade at requirement may increase the costs for certain of our transactions. Finally, the SEC has recently proposed amendments to regulations that would require our registered broker‑dealer that is not currently a FINRA member to become a member of FINRA, which, if adopted as proposed, would subject the broker‑dealer to FINRA’s rules and require payment of additional fees per trade that could adversely affect our profits given that we seek to make small profits on individual trades.  Additionally, the CFTC has proposed the adoption of Regulation Automated Trading, which would, among other requirements, require registration by direct market participants, mandate the use of certain types of risk controls, and require the maintenance of a source code repository in accordance with certain specifications.

Any or all of these proposals or additional proposals may be adopted by the SEC, CFTC or other U.S. or foreign legislative or regulatory bodies, and recent news media attention to electronic trading and market structure could increase the likelihood of adoption. These potential market structure and regulatory changes could cause a change in the manner in which we make markets, impose additional costs and expenses on our business or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, the financial services industry is heavily regulated in many foreign countries, much like in the U.S. The varying compliance requirements of these different regulatory jurisdictions and other factors may limit our ability to conduct business or expand internationally. For example, MiFID, which was implemented in November 2007, is in the process of being replaced by MiFID II/Markets in Financial Investments Regulation (“MiFIR”), which was adopted by the European Parliament on April 15, 2014 and by the Council on May 13, 2014, and entered into force on July 2, 2014 with an effective date of January 3, 2017. It is widely expected that the effective date will be delayed to 2018. The MiFID II/MiFIR proposals include many changes likely to affect our business. For example, MiFID II/MiFIR will require certain types of firms, including us, to post firm quotes at competitive prices and will supplement current requirements with regard to investment firms’ risk controls related to the safe operation of electronic systems. MiFID II/MiFIR will also impose additional requirements on market structure, such as the introduction of a harmonized tick size regime, the introduction of new trading venues known as Organized Trading Facilities, new open access provisions, market making requirements and various other pre‑ and post‑trade risk management requirements. Each of these and other proposals may impose technological and compliance costs on us. Any of these laws, rules or regulations, if adopted, as well as changes in legislation or regulation and changes in market customs and practices could have a

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material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These risks may be enhanced by recent scrutiny of electronic trading and market structure from regulators, lawmakers and the financial news media.

In addition, we maintain borrowing facilities with banks, prime brokers and Futures Commission Merchants (“FCMs”), and we obtain uncommitted margin financing from our prime brokers and FCMs, which are in many cases affiliated with banks. In response to the financial crisis, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued a new, more stringent capital and liquidity framework known as Basel III, which national banking regulators are in the process of implementing in the various jurisdictions in which our lenders may be incorporated. As these rules are implemented and impose more stringent capital and liquidity requirements, certain of our lenders may revise the terms of our borrowing facilities or margin financing arrangements, reduce the amount of financing they provide, or cease providing us financing, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Non‑compliance with applicable laws or regulatory requirements could negatively impact our reputation, prospects, revenues and earnings.

Our subsidiaries are subject to regulations in the U.S., and our foreign subsidiaries are subject to regulations abroad, in each case covering all aspects of their business. Regulatory bodies that exercise or may exercise authority over us include, without limitation, in the U.S., the SEC, FINRA, the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the CFTC, the National Futures Association (“NFA”) and the various state securities regulators; in Ireland, the Central Bank of Ireland; in Switzerland, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority; in France, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (“AMF”); in the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”); in Hong Kong, the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”); in Australia, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission; in Canada, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and various Canadian provincial securities commissions; in Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange; and in Japan, the Financial Services Agency and the Japan Securities Dealers Association. Our mode of operation and profitability may be directly affected by additional legislation and changes in rules promulgated by various domestic and foreign government agencies and SROs that oversee our businesses, as well as by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules, including the potential imposition of additional capital and margin requirements and/or transaction taxes. While we endeavor to timely deliver required annual filings in all jurisdictions, we cannot guarantee that we will meet every applicable filing deadline globally. Noncompliance with applicable laws or regulations could result in sanctions being levied against us, including fines, penalties, disgorgement and censures, suspension or expulsion from a certain jurisdiction, SRO or market or the revocation or limitation of licenses. Noncompliance with applicable laws or regulations could also negatively impact our reputation, prospects, revenues and earnings. In addition, changes in current laws or regulations or in governmental policies could negatively impact our operations, revenues and earnings.

Domestic and foreign stock exchanges, other SROs and state and foreign securities commissions can censure, fine, impose undertakings, issue cease‑and‑desist orders and suspend or expel a broker‑dealer or other market participant or any of its officers or employees. Our ability to comply with all applicable laws and rules is largely dependent on our internal systems to ensure compliance, as well as our ability to attract and retain qualified compliance personnel. We could be subject to disciplinary or other actions in the future due to claimed noncompliance, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We have been, are currently, and may in the future be, the subject of one or more regulatory or SRO enforcement actions, including but not limited to targeted and routine regulatory inquiries and investigations involving Regulation NMS, Regulation SHO, market access rules, capital requirements and other domestic and foreign securities rules and regulations. We and other broker‑dealers and trading firms have also been the subject of requests for information and documents from the SEC and the State of New York Office of the Attorney General (“NYAG”). We have been cooperating and complying with the SEC’s and NYAG’s requests for information and documents. Our business or reputation could be negatively impacted if it were determined that disciplinary or other enforcement actions were required. For example, the CFTC has requested certain information from us relating to our trading during the period from July 2011 to February 2014. We do not believe that our trading activity during this time period violated any statute or CFTC regulatory provision, but we cannot predict the outcome of this inquiry.  Additionally, in December 2015, the enforcement committee of the AMF fined our European subsidiary in the amount of €5.0 million (approximately $5.4 million) based on its conclusion that the subsidiary engaged in price manipulation and violations of the AMF General Regulation and Euronext Market Rules.  The relevant trading activities

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were conducted on or around 2009, prior to our acquisition of that subsidiary from Madison Tyler Holdings LLC (“MTH” or “Madison Tyler Holdings”), which acquisition was consummated in 2011.  Although we believe that the relevant trading engaged in by the subsidiary of MTH was conducted in accordance with applicable French law and regulations and are pursuing our rights of appeal, we may not ultimately prevail.  To continue to operate and to expand our services internationally, we will have to comply with the regulatory controls of each country in which we conduct or intend to conduct business, the requirements of which may not be clearly defined. The varying compliance requirements of these different regulatory jurisdictions, which are often unclear, may limit our ability to continue existing international operations and further expand internationally.

Failure to comply with applicable regulatory capital requirements could subject us to sanctions imposed by the SEC, FINRA and other SROs or regulatory bodies.

Certain of our subsidiaries are subject to regulatory capital rules of the SEC, FINRA, other SROs and foreign regulators. These rules, which specify minimum capital requirements for our regulated subsidiaries, are designed to measure the general financial integrity and liquidity of a broker‑dealer and require that at least a minimum part of its assets be kept in relatively liquid form. In general, net capital is defined as net worth (assets minus liabilities), plus qualifying subordinated borrowings, less certain mandatory deductions that result from, among other things, excluding assets that are not readily convertible into cash and from valuing conservatively certain other assets. Among these deductions are adjustments, commonly called haircuts, which reflect the possibility of a decline in the market value of an asset before disposition, and non‑allowable assets.

Failure to maintain the required minimum capital may subject our regulated subsidiaries to a fine, requirement to cease conducting business, suspension, revocation of registration or expulsion by the applicable regulatory authorities, and ultimately could require the relevant entity’s liquidation. Events relating to capital adequacy could give rise to regulatory actions that could limit business expansion or require business reduction. SEC and SRO net capital rules prohibit payments of dividends, redemptions of stock, prepayments of subordinated indebtedness and the making of any unsecured advances or loans to a stockholder, employee or affiliate, in certain circumstances, including if such payment would reduce the firm’s net capital below required levels. Similar issues and risks arise in connection with the capital adequacy requirements of foreign regulators.

A change in the net capital rules, the imposition of new rules or any unusually large charges against net capital could limit our operations that require the intensive use of capital and also could restrict our ability to withdraw capital from our broker‑dealer subsidiaries. A significant operating loss or any unusually large charge against net capital could negatively impact our ability to expand or even maintain our present levels of business. Similar issues and risks arise in connection with the capital adequacy requirements of foreign regulators. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to risks relating to litigation and potential securities law liability.

We are exposed to substantial risks of liability under federal and state securities laws and other federal and state laws and court decisions, as well as rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC, the CFTC, state securities regulators, SROs and foreign regulatory agencies. These risks may be enhanced by recent scrutiny of electronic trading and market structure from regulators, lawmakers and the financial news media. We are also subject to the risk of litigation and claims that may be without merit. From time to time, we, our officers, directors and employees may be named in legal actions, regulatory investigations and proceedings, arbitrations and administrative claims and be subject to claims alleging the violations of laws, rules and regulations, some of which may ultimately result in the payment of fines, awards, judgments and settlements. We could incur significant legal expenses in defending ourselves against and resolving lawsuits or claims even if we believe them to be meritless. An adverse resolution of any future lawsuits or claims against us could result in a negative perception of our Company and cause the market price of our common stock to decline or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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Proposed legislation in the European Union, the U.S. and other jurisdictions that would impose taxes on certain financial transactions could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.

On February 14, 2013, the European Commission tabled a proposal for a Council Directive to implement an enhanced cooperation procedure among 11 European Union Member States (Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia) for the purposes of a financial transaction tax among those Member States. Diplomats from the 11 EU member states had initially aimed to come to an agreement on the future European tax on financial transactions by the end of 2014; however, consensus on the final terms has not yet been reached. The exact terms of the process by which such a financial transaction tax would be implemented are under consideration by the European Commission, but the envisioned tax would broadly apply to transactions in financial instruments, including equities, certain derivatives and potentially some other financial instruments. In September 2013, the European Legal Service issued an opinion questioning the legal validity of the European Commission’s proposal, creating uncertainty as to the status of the proposal’s implementation. Similarly, in 2013, U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio and former Senator Thomas Harkin introduced proposed legislation, a bill entitled the “Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act,” which would have, subject to certain exceptions, imposed an excise tax on the purchase of a security, including equities, bonds, debentures, other debt and interests in derivative financial instruments, if the purchase occured or was cleared on a trading facility in the U.S. and the purchaser or seller is a U.S. person. More recently, U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen presented an “action plan” that included a financial transaction fee. These proposed transaction taxes would apply to certain aspects of our business and transactions in which we are involved. Any such tax would increase our cost of doing business to the extent that (i) the tax is regularly applicable to transactions in the markets in which we operate, (ii) the tax does not include exceptions for market makers or market making activities that is broad enough to cover our activities or (iii) we are unable to widen our bid/ask spreads in the markets in which such a tax would be applicable to compensate for its imposition. Furthermore, the proposed taxes may reduce or negatively impact trading volume and transactions on which we are dependent for revenues. While it is difficult to assess the impact the proposed taxes could have on us, if either transaction tax is implemented or any similar tax is implemented in any other jurisdiction in which we operate, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could suffer a material adverse effect, and could be impacted to a greater degree than other market participants.

Failure to comply with laws and regulations applicable to our international operations may increase costs, reduce profits, limit growth or subject us to broader liability.

Our business operations in countries outside the U.S. are subject to a number of laws and regulations, including restrictions imposed by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”) and trade sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (the “OFAC”). The FCPA is intended to prohibit bribery of foreign officials and requires companies whose securities are listed in the U.S. to keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect those companies’ transactions and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls. The OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against designated foreign states, organizations and individuals. We have policies in place reasonably designed to comply with applicable OFAC sanctions, rules and regulations. In addition, some of our operations may be subject to laws and regulations of non‑U.S. jurisdictions containing prohibitions on bribery and other corrupt business activities. If we fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we could be exposed to claims for damages, financial penalties, reputational harm, incarceration of employees and restrictions on our operations and cash flows.

We depend on our technology, and our future results may be negatively impacted if we cannot remain technologically competitive.

We believe that our success in the past has largely been attributable to our technology, which has taken many years to develop. If technology equivalent to ours becomes more widely available for any reason, our operating results may be negatively impacted. Additionally, adoption or development of similar or more advanced technologies by our competitors may require that we devote substantial resources to the development of more advanced technology to remain competitive. Regulators and exchanges may also introduce risk control and other technological requirements on our business that could result in increased costs of compliance and divert our technological resources away from their primary strategy development and maintenance duties. The markets in which we compete are characterized by rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards and changing trading systems, practices and techniques. The widespread adoption of new internet, networking or telecommunications technologies or other technological changes

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could require us to incur substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our services or infrastructure. We may not be able to anticipate or respond adequately or in a cost‑efficient and competitive manner to technological advancements (including advancements related to low‑latency technologies, execution and messaging speeds) or changing industry standards. If any of these risks materialize, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our reliance on our computer systems and software could expose us to great financial harm if any of our computer systems or software were subject to any material disruption or corruption.

We rely significantly on our computer systems and software to receive and properly process internal and external data and utilize such data to generate orders and other messages. A disruption or corruption of the proper functioning of our computer systems or software could cause us to make erroneous trades, which could result in material losses. We cannot guarantee that our efforts to maintain competitive computer systems and software will be successful. Our computer systems and software may fail or be subject to bugs or other errors, resulting in service interruptions or other unintended consequences. If any of these risks materialize, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our failure to protect our systems and network against cybersecurity breaches, or otherwise protect confidential and proprietary information, could damage our reputation and negatively impact our business.

Our cybersecurity measures may not detect or prevent all attempts to compromise our systems, including denial‑of‑service attacks, viruses, malicious software, break‑ins, phishing attacks, social engineering, security breaches or other attacks and similar disruptions that may jeopardize the security of information stored in and transmitted by our systems or that we otherwise maintain. Breaches of our cybersecurity measures could result in any of the following: unauthorized access to our systems; unauthorized access to and misappropriation of information or data, including confidential or proprietary information about ourselves, third parties with whom we do business or our proprietary systems; viruses, worms, spyware or other malware being placed in our systems; deletion or modification of client information; or a denial‑of‑service or other interruptions to our business operations. Because techniques used to obtain unauthorized access to or sabotage systems change frequently and may not be known until launched against us or our third‑party service providers, we may be unable to anticipate these attacks or to implement adequate preventative measures. While we have not suffered any material breach of our cybersecurity, any actual or perceived breach of our cybersecurity could damage our reputation, expose us to a risk of loss or litigation and possible liability, require us to expend significant capital and other resources to alleviate problems caused by such breaches and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Capacity constraints, systems failures, malfunctions and delays could harm our business.

Our business activities are heavily dependent on the integrity and performance of the computer and communications systems supporting them. Our systems and operations are vulnerable to damage or interruption from human error, software bugs and errors, electronic and physical security breaches, natural disasters, power loss, utility or internet outages, computer viruses, intentional acts of vandalism, terrorism and other similar events. Extraordinary trading volumes or other events could cause our computer systems to operate in ways that we did not intend, at an unacceptably low speed or even fail. While we have invested significant amounts of capital to upgrade the capacity, reliability and scalability of our systems, there can be no assurance that our systems will always operate properly or be sufficient to handle such extraordinary trading volumes. Any disruption for any reason in the proper functioning or any corruption of our software or erroneous or corrupted data may cause us to make erroneous trades or suspend our services and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Although our systems and infrastructure are generally designed to accommodate additional growth without redesign or replacement, we may need to make significant investments in additional hardware and software to accommodate growth. Failure to make necessary expansions and upgrades to our systems and infrastructure could not only limit our growth and business prospects but could also cause substantial losses and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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Since the timing and impact of disasters and disruptions are unpredictable, we may not be able to respond to actual events as they occur. Business disruptions can vary in their scope and significance and can affect one or more of our facilities. Further, the severity of the disruption can also vary from minimal to severe. Although we have employed significant effort to develop, implement and maintain reasonable disaster recovery and business continuity plans, we cannot guarantee that our systems will fully recover after a significant business disruption in a timely fashion or at all. If we are prevented from using any of our current trading operations, or if our business continuity operations do not work effectively, we may not have complete business continuity, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Failure or poor performance of third‑party software, infrastructure or systems on which we rely could adversely affect our business.

We depend on third parties to provide and maintain certain infrastructure that is critical to our business. For example, we rely on third parties to provide software, data center services and dedicated fiber optic, microwave, wireline and wireless communication infrastructure. This infrastructure may malfunction or fail due to events outside of our control, which could disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any failure to maintain and renew our relationships with these third parties on commercially favorable terms, or to enter into similar relationships in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We also rely on certain third‑party software, third‑party computer systems and third‑party service providers, including clearing systems, exchange systems, alternate trading systems, order routing systems, internet service providers, communications facilities and other facilities. Any interruption in these third‑party services or software, deterioration in their performance, or other improper operation could interfere with our trading activities, cause losses due to erroneous or delayed responses, or otherwise be disruptive to our business. If our arrangements with any third party are terminated, we may not be able to find an alternative source of software or systems support on a timely basis or on commercially reasonable terms. This could also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

 

The use of open source software may expose us to additional risks.

We use software development tools covered by open source licenses and may incorporate such open source software into our proprietary software from time to time. “Open source software” refers to any code, shareware or other software that is made generally available to the public without requiring payment of fees or royalties and/or that may require disclosure or licensing of any software that incorporates such source code, shareware or other software. Given the nature of open source software, third parties might assert contractual or copyright and other intellectual property‑related claims against us based on our use of such tools and software programs or might seek to compel the disclosure of the source code of our software or other proprietary information. If any such claims materialize, we could be required to (i) seek licenses from third parties in order to continue to use such tools and software or to continue to operate certain elements of our technology, (ii) release certain proprietary software code comprising our modifications to such open source software, (iii) make our software available under the terms of an open source license or (iv) re‑engineer all, or a portion of, that software, any of which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. While we monitor the use of all open source software in our solutions, processes and technology and try to ensure that no open source software is used (i) in such a way as to require us to disclose the source code to the related solution when we do not wish to do so nor (ii) in connection with critical or fundamental elements of our software or technology, such use may have inadvertently occurred in deploying our proprietary solutions. If a third‑party software provider has incorporated certain types of open source software into software we license from such third party for our products and solutions, we could, under certain circumstances, be required to disclose the source code to our solutions. In addition to risks related to license requirements, usage of open software can lead to greater risks than use of third‑party commercial software because open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls on the origin of the software. Many of the risks associated with usage of open source software cannot be eliminated and could potentially have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights or may be prevented from using intellectual property necessary for our business.

We rely primarily on trade secret, trademark, domain name, copyright and contract law to protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology. It is possible that third parties may copy or otherwise obtain and use our intellectual property or proprietary technology without authorization or otherwise infringe on our rights. For example, while we have a policy of entering into confidentiality, intellectual property invention assignment and/or non‑competition and non‑solicitation agreements or restrictions with our employees, independent contractors and business partners, such agreements may not provide adequate protection or may be breached, or our proprietary technology may otherwise become available to or be independently developed by our competitors.  The promulgation of laws or rules which require the maintenance of source code or other intellectual property in a repository subject to certain requirements and/or which enhance or facilitate access to such source code by regulatory authorities could inhibit our ability to protect against unauthorized dissemination or use of our intellectual property.  Third parties have alleged and may in the future allege that we are infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating their intellectual property rights. Third parties may initiate litigation against us without warning, or may send us letters or other communications that make allegations without initiating litigation. We may elect not to respond to these letters or other communications if we believe they are without merit, or we may attempt to resolve these disputes out of court by negotiating a license, but in either case it is possible that such disputes will ultimately result in litigation. Any such claims could interfere with our ability to use technology or intellectual property that is material to the operation of our business. Such claims may be made by competitors seeking to obtain a competitive advantage or by other parties, such as entities that purchase intellectual property assets for the purpose of bringing infringement claims. We also periodically employ individuals who were previously employed by our competitors or potential competitors, and we may therefore be subject to claims that such employees have used or disclosed the alleged trade secrets or other proprietary information of their former employers.

In the future, we may have to rely on litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our trade secrets, determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others or defend against claims of infringement or invalidity. Any such litigation, whether successful or unsuccessful, could result in substantial costs and the diversion of resources and the attention of management. If unsuccessful, such litigation could result in the loss of important intellectual property rights, require us to pay substantial damages, subject us to injunctions that prevent us from using certain intellectual property, require us to make admissions that affect our reputation in the marketplace and require us to enter into license agreements that may not be available on favorable terms or at all. Finally, even if we prevail in any litigation, the remedy may not be commercially meaningful or fully compensate us for the harm we suffer or the costs we incur. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We are exposed to risks associated with our international operations and expansion.

We are exposed to risks and uncertainties inherent in doing business in international markets, particularly in the heavily regulated broker‑dealer industry. Such risks and uncertainties include political, economic and financial instability, unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, tariffs and other trade barriers, exchange rate fluctuations, applicable currency controls, the imposition of restrictions on currency conversion or the transfer of funds, limitations on our ability to repatriate non‑U.S. earnings in a tax efficient manner and difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations, including reliance on local experts.

In addition, the varying compliance requirements of these different regulatory jurisdictions and other factors may limit our ability to successfully conduct or expand our business internationally and may increase our costs of investment. Expansion into international locations involves substantial operational and execution risk. We may not be able to manage these costs or risks effectively.

Fluctuations in currency exchange rates could negatively impact our earnings.

A significant portion of our international business is conducted in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, and changes in foreign exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar can therefore affect the value of our non‑U.S. dollar net assets, revenues and expenses. Although we closely monitor potential exposures as a result of these fluctuations in currencies, and where cost‑justified we adopt strategies that are designed to reduce the impact of these fluctuations on

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our financial performance, including the financing of non‑U.S. dollar assets with borrowings in the same currency and the use of various hedging transactions related to net assets, revenues, expenses or cash flows, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in managing our foreign exchange risk. Our exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations will grow if the relative contribution of our operations outside the U.S. increases. Any material fluctuations in currencies could have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may experience risks associated with future growth or expansion of our operations or acquisitions or dispositions of businesses, and we may never realize the anticipated benefits of such activities.

As a part of our business strategy, we may make acquisitions or significant investments in and/or disposals of businesses. Any such future acquisitions, investments and/or dispositions would be accompanied by risks such as difficulties in assimilating the operations and personnel of acquired companies or businesses, diversion of our management’s attention from ongoing business concerns, our potential inability to maximize our financial and strategic position through the successful incorporation or disposition of operations, maintenance of uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies and the impairment of existing relationships with employees, contractors, suppliers and customers as a result of the integration of new management personnel and cost‑saving initiatives.

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully integrate any company or business that we might acquire in the future, and our failure to do so could harm our current business.

In addition, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of any such transactions, and there may be other unanticipated or unidentified effects. While we would seek protection, for example, through warranties and indemnities in the case of acquisitions, significant liabilities may not be identified in due diligence or come to light after the expiration of warranty or indemnity periods. Additionally, while we would seek to limit our ongoing exposure, for example, through liability caps and period limits on warranties and indemnities in the case of disposals, some warranties and indemnities may give rise to unexpected and significant liabilities. If we fail to realize any such anticipated benefits, or if we experience any such unanticipated or unidentified effects in connection with any future acquisitions, investments or dispositions, we could suffer a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our future efforts to sell shares of our common stock or raise additional capital may be delayed or prohibited by regulations.

As certain of our subsidiaries are members of FINRA and other SROs, we are subject to certain regulations regarding changes in ownership or control and material changes in operations. For example, FINRA’s NASD Rule 1017 generally provides that FINRA approval must be obtained in connection with certain change of ownership or control transactions, such as a transaction that results in a single entity or person owning 25% or more our equity. Similarly, Virtu Financial Ireland Limited, one of our Irish subsidiaries, is subject to change in control regulations promulgated by the Central Bank of Ireland. As a result of these regulations, our future efforts to sell shares of our common stock or raise additional capital may be delayed or prohibited. We may be subject to similar restrictions in other jurisdictions in which we operate.

We are dependent on the continued service of certain key executives, the loss or diminished performance of whom could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our performance is substantially dependent on the performance of our senior management, including Mr. Viola, our Founder and Executive Chairman, Mr. Cifu, our Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Molluso, our Chief Financial Officer. In connection with our initial public offering, we entered into employment and/or severance protection agreements with certain members of our senior management team that restrict their ability to compete with us should they decide to leave our Company. Even though we have entered into these agreements, we cannot be sure that any member of our senior management will remain with us or that they will not compete with us in the future. The loss of any member of our senior management team could impair our ability to execute our business plan and growth strategy and have a negative impact on our revenues, in addition to potentially causing employee morale problems and/or the loss of key employees. In particular, Messrs. Viola and Cifu invest in other businesses and spend time on such matters, which could divert their attention from us. Our employment agreement with Mr. Cifu specifically permits his participation in

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and attention to certain other business activities, including but not necessarily limited to his role as the Vice Chairman and Alternate Governor of the Florida Panthers, a National Hockey League franchise, his role as a director of the Independent Bank Group, Inc., a regional bank holding company and his role as a director of Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc., a domestic airline. We cannot guarantee that these or other permitted outside activities will not impact his performance as Chief Executive Officer.

Our success depends, in part, on our ability to identify, recruit and retain skilled management and technical personnel. If we fail to recruit and retain suitable candidates or if our relationship with our employees changes or deteriorates, it could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our future success depends, in part, upon our continued ability to identify, attract, hire and retain highly qualified personnel, including skilled technical, management, product and technology, trading, sales and marketing personnel, all of whom are in high demand and are often subject to competing offers. Competition for qualified personnel in the financial services industry is intense and we cannot assure you that we will be able to hire or retain a sufficient number of qualified personnel to meet our requirements, or that we will be able to do so at salary, benefit and other compensation costs that are acceptable to us or that would allow us to achieve operating results consistent with our historical results. A loss of qualified employees, or an inability to attract, retain and motivate additional highly skilled employees in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We could lose significant sources of revenues if we were to lose access to an important exchange or other trading venue.

Changes in applicable laws, regulations or rules promulgated by exchanges could conceivably prevent us from providing liquidity to an exchange or other trading venue where we provide liquidity today. Though our revenues are diversified across exchanges and other trading venues, asset classes and geographies, the loss of access to one or more significant exchanges and other trading venues for any reason could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure

We are a holding company and our principal asset is our 27.5% equity interest in Virtu Financial, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from Virtu Financial to pay dividends, if any, taxes and other expenses.

We are a holding company and our principal asset is our direct and indirect ownership of 27.5% of the outstanding non-voting common interest units in Virtu Financial (“Virtu Financial Units”). We have no independent means of generating revenue. As the sole managing member of Virtu Financial, we cause Virtu Financial to make distributions to its equityholders, including the Founder Post-IPO Member, a management vehicle that holds Virtu Financial Units on behalf of key employees (“Virtu Employee Holdco”), certain current and former members of management of the Company and their affiliates (the “Management Members”) and us, in amounts sufficient to fund dividends to our stockholders in accordance with our dividend policy and, as further described below, to cover all applicable taxes payable by us and any payments we are obligated to make under the tax receivable agreements we entered into as part of the reorganization transactions, but we are limited in our ability to cause Virtu Financial to make these and other distributions to us (including for purposes of paying corporate and other overhead expenses and dividends) under our credit agreement. In addition, certain laws and regulations may result in restrictions on Virtu Financial’s ability to make distributions to its equityholders (including us), or the ability of its subsidiaries to make distributions to it. These include:

the SEC Net Capital Rule (Rule 15c3‑1) requires each of Virtu Financial’s registered broker‑dealer subsidiaries to maintain specified levels of net capital;

FINRA Rule 4110 imposes a requirement of prior FINRA approval for any distribution by Virtu Financial’s FINRA member registered broker‑dealer subsidiary in excess of 10% of its excess net capital; and

Virtu Financial’s regulated Irish subsidiary must obtain prior approval from the Central Bank of Ireland for any distribution or dividend.

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To the extent that we need funds and Virtu Financial is restricted from making such distributions to us, under applicable law or regulation, as a result of covenants in our credit agreement or otherwise, we may not be able to obtain such funds on terms acceptable to us or at all and as a result could suffer a material adverse effect on our liquidity and financial condition.

Under the Third Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of Virtu Financial (the “Amended and Restated Virtu Financial LLC Agreement”), we expect Virtu Financial from time to time to make pro rata distributions in cash to its equityholders, including the Founder Post‑IPO Member, the trust that holds equity interests in Virtu Financial on behalf of certain employees of ours based outside the United States, which we refer to as the “Employee Trust”, Virtu Employee Holdco and us, in amounts sufficient to cover the taxes on their allocable share of the taxable income of Virtu Financial. As a result of (i) potential differences in the amount of net taxable income allocable to us and to Virtu Financial’s other equityholders, (ii) the lower tax rate applicable to corporations than individuals and (iii) the favorable tax benefits that we anticipate from (a) the exchange of Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock or Class D common stock, (b) payments under the tax receivable agreements and (c) future deductions attributable to the prior acquisition of interests in Virtu Financial by an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners and Temasek and the Temasek Pre‑IPO Member, we expect that these tax distributions will be in amounts that exceed our tax liabilities. Our board of directors will determine the appropriate uses for any excess cash so accumulated, which may include, among other uses, the payment of obligations under the tax receivable agreements and the payment of other expenses. We will have no obligation to distribute such cash (or other available cash) to our shareholders. No adjustments to the exchange ratio for Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of common stock will be made as a result of any cash distribution by us or any retention of cash by us, and in any event the ratio will remain one‑to‑one.

We are controlled by the Founder Post‑IPO Member, whose interests in our business may be different than yours, and certain statutory provisions afforded to stockholders are not applicable to us.

The Founder Post‑IPO Member controls approximately 93.1% of the combined voting power of our common stock as a result of its ownership of our Class D common stock, each share of which is entitled to 10 votes on all matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders.

The Founder Post‑IPO Member has the ability to substantially control our Company, including the ability to control any action requiring the general approval of our stockholders, including the election of our board of directors, the adoption of amendments to our certificate of incorporation and by‑laws and the approval of any merger or sale of substantially all of our assets. This concentration of ownership and voting power may also delay, defer or even prevent an acquisition by a third party or other change of control of our Company and may make some transactions more difficult or impossible without the support of the Founder Post‑IPO Member, even if such events are in the best interests of minority stockholders. This concentration of voting power with the Founder Post‑IPO Member may have a negative impact on the price of our Class A common stock. In addition, because shares of our Class B common stock and Class D common stock each have 10 votes per share on matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders, the Founder Post‑IPO Member is able to control our Company as long as it owns at least 25% of our issued and outstanding common stock.

The Founder Post‑IPO Member’s interests may not be fully aligned with yours, which could lead to actions that are not in your best interest. Because the Founder Post‑IPO Member holds part of its economic interest in our business through Virtu Financial, rather than through the public company, it may have conflicting interests with holders of shares of our Class A common stock. For example, the Founder Post‑IPO Member may have a different tax position from us, which could influence its decisions regarding whether and when we should dispose of assets or incur new or refinance existing indebtedness, especially in light of the existence of the tax receivable agreements that we entered into in connection with our initial public offering, and whether and when we should undergo certain changes of control within the meaning of the tax receivable agreements or terminate the tax receivable agreements. In addition, the structuring of future transactions may take into consideration these tax or other considerations even where no similar benefit would accrue to us. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions — Tax Receivable Agreements.” In addition, pursuant to the Exchange Agreement described under “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions — Exchange Agreement,” the holders of Virtu Financial Units and shares of our Class C common stock or Class D common stock are not required to participate in a proposed sale of our Company that is tax‑free for our stockholders unless the transaction is also tax‑free for such holders of Virtu Financial Units and shares of our Class C common stock

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or Class D common stock. This requirement could limit structural alternatives available to us in any such proposed transaction and could have the effect of discouraging transactions that might benefit you as a holder of shares of our Class A common stock. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions — Exchange Agreement.”  In addition, the Founder Post‑IPO Member’s significant ownership in us and resulting ability to effectively control us may discourage someone from making a significant equity investment in us, or could discourage transactions involving a change in control, including transactions in which you as a holder of shares of our Class A common stock might otherwise receive a premium for your shares over the then‑current market price.

We have opted out of Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “Delaware General Corporation Law”), which prohibits a publicly held Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination transaction with an interested stockholder for a period of three years after the interested stockholder became such unless the transaction fits within an applicable exemption, such as board approval of the business combination or the transaction which resulted in such stockholder becoming an interested stockholder. Therefore, the Founder Post‑IPO Member is able to transfer control of us to a third party by transferring its shares of our common stock (subject to certain restrictions and limitations), which would not require the approval of our board of directors or our other stockholders.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the doctrine of “corporate opportunity” does not apply against the Founder Post‑IPO Member, Mr. Viola, affiliates of Silver Lake Partners (the “Silver Lake Equityholders”), the Temasek Post‑IPO Stockholder, any of our non‑employee directors or any of their respective affiliates in a manner that would prohibit them from investing in competing businesses or doing business with our clients or customers. In addition, subject to the restrictions on competitive activities described below, Mr. Cifu is permitted to become engaged in, or provide services to, any other business or activity in which Mr. Viola is currently engaged or permitted to become engaged, to the extent that Mr. Cifu’s level of participation in such businesses or activities is consistent with his current participation in such businesses and activities. The Amended and Restated Virtu Financial LLC Agreement provides that Mr. Viola, in addition to our other executive officers and our employees that are Virtu Post‑IPO Members, including Mr. Cifu, may not directly or indirectly engage in certain competitive activities until the third anniversary of the date on which such person ceases to be an officer, director or employee of ours. The Silver Lake Equityholders, the Temasek Post‑IPO Stockholder and our non‑employee directors are not subject to any such restriction. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions — Amended and Restated Virtu Financial Limited Liability Company Agreement.” To the extent that the Founder Post‑IPO Member, Mr. Viola, the Silver Lake Equityholders, the Temasek Post‑IPO Stockholder, our non‑employee directors or any of their respective affiliates invests in other businesses, they may have differing interests than our other stockholders. Messrs. Viola and Cifu have business relationships outside of our business. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions — Other Transactions.”

For additional information regarding the share ownership of, and our relationship with, the Founder Post‑IPO Member, the Silver Lake Equityholders and the Temasek Post‑IPO Stockholder, you should read the information under the headings “Principal and Selling Stockholders” and “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.”

We have a substantial amount of indebtedness, which could negatively impact our business and financial condition.

As of December 31, 2015, we had an aggregate of $499.8 million outstanding indebtedness under our senior secured credit facility. If we cannot generate sufficient cash flow from operations to service our debt, we may need to refinance our debt, dispose of assets or issue equity to obtain necessary funds. We do not know whether we will be able to take any of such actions on a timely basis, on terms satisfactory to us or at all.

Our substantial amount of indebtedness could limit our ability to obtain necessary additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures or other purposes in the future, plan for or react to changes in our business and the industries in which we operate, make future acquisitions or pursue other business opportunities and react in an extended economic downturn.

Despite our substantial indebtedness, we may still be able to incur significantly more debt. The incurrence of additional debt could increase the risks associated with our substantial leverage, including our ability to service our indebtedness. In addition, because borrowings under our senior secured credit facility bear interest at a variable rate, our

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interest expense could increase, exacerbating these risks. For instance, assuming an aggregate principal balance of $499.8 million outstanding under our senior secured credit facility, which was the amount outstanding as of December 31, 2015, a 1% increase in the interest rate we are charged on our debt would increase our annual interest expense by $5.0 million.

In addition, the covenants in our credit agreement may negatively impact our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage in other business activities. Our credit agreement requires us to maintain specified financial ratios and tests, including interest coverage and total leverage ratios, which may require us to take action to reduce our debt or to act in a manner contrary to our business objectives. Our credit agreement also restricts our ability to, among other things, incur additional indebtedness, dispose of assets, guarantee debt obligations, repay other indebtedness, pay dividends, pledge assets, make investments, including in certain of our operating subsidiaries, make acquisitions or consummate mergers or consolidations and engage in certain transactions with subsidiaries and affiliates.

A failure to comply with the restrictions contained in our credit agreement could lead to an event of default, which could result in an acceleration of our indebtedness. Our future operating results may not be sufficient to enable compliance with the covenants in our credit agreement or to remedy such a default. In addition, in the event of an acceleration, we may not have or be able to obtain sufficient funds to refinance our indebtedness or to make any accelerated payments. Even if we were able to obtain new financing, we would not be able to guarantee that the new financing would be on commercially reasonable terms. If we default on our indebtedness, our business, financial condition and results of operation could suffer a material adverse effect.

We are exempt from certain corporate governance requirements since we are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the NASDAQ rules, and as a result our stockholders do not have the protections afforded by these corporate governance requirements.

The Founder Post‑IPO Member controls more than 50% of our combined voting power. As a result, we are considered a “controlled company” for purposes of the NASDAQ rules and corporate governance standards, and therefore we are permitted and have elected not to, comply with certain NASDAQ corporate governance requirements, including those that would otherwise require our board of directors to have a majority of independent directors and require that we either establish a Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees, each comprised entirely of independent directors, or otherwise ensure that the compensation of our executive officers and nominees for directors are determined or recommended to the board of directors by the independent members of the board of directors. Accordingly, holders of our Class A common stock do not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NASDAQ rules and corporate governance standards, and the ability of our independent directors to influence our business policies and affairs may be reduced.

We are required to pay the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders for certain tax benefits we may claim, and the amounts we may pay could be significant.

In connection with the reorganization transactions, we acquired equity interests in Virtu Financial from an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners and the Temasek Pre‑IPO Member in the Mergers. In addition, we used a portion of the net proceeds from our IPO and our Secondary Offering to purchase Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock from certain Virtu Post‑IPO Members, including the Silver Lake Post‑IPO Members, and certain employees. These acquisitions of interests in Virtu Financial resulted in tax basis adjustments to the assets of Virtu Financial that were allocated to us and our subsidiaries. Future acquisitions of interests in Virtu Financial are expected to produce favorable tax attributes. In addition, future exchanges by the Virtu Post‑IPO Members of Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock or Class D common stock, as the case may be, for shares of our Class A common stock or Class B common stock, respectively, are expected to produce favorable tax attributes. These tax attributes would not be available to us in the absence of such transactions. Both the existing and anticipated tax basis adjustments are expected to reduce the amount of tax that we would otherwise be required to pay in the future.

We entered into three tax receivable agreements with the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders (one with the Founder Post‑IPO Member, the Employee Trust, Virtu Employee Holdco and other post‑IPO investors, other than affiliates of Silver Lake Partners and affiliates of Temasek, another with the Investor Post‑IPO

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Stockholders and the other with the Silver Lake Post‑IPO Members) that provide for the payment by us to the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders (or their transferees of Virtu Financial Units or other assignees) of 85% of the amount of cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal, state and local income tax or franchise tax that we actually realize as a result of (i) any increase in tax basis in Virtu Financial’s assets resulting from (a) the acquisition of equity interests in Virtu Financial from an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners and Temasek, and the Temasek Pre‑IPO Member in the reorganization transactions (which represents the unamortized portion of the increase in tax basis in Virtu Financial’s assets resulting from a prior acquisition of interests in Virtu Financial by an affiliate of Silver Lake Partners and Temasek, and the Temasek Pre‑IPO Member), (b) the purchases of Virtu Financial Units (along with the corresponding shares of our Class C common stock or Class D common stock, as applicable) from certain of the Virtu Post‑IPO Members using a portion of the net proceeds from our initial public offering or in any future offering, (c) exchanges by the Virtu Post‑IPO Members of Virtu Financial Units (along with the corresponding shares of our Class C common stock or Class D common stock, as applicable) for shares of our Class A common stock or Class B common stock, as applicable, or (d) payments under the tax receivable agreements, (ii) any net operating losses available to us as a result of the Mergers and (iii) tax benefits related to imputed interest deemed arising as a result of payments made under the tax receivable agreements.

The actual increase in tax basis, as well as the amount and timing of any payments under these tax receivable agreements, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of exchanges by the Virtu Post‑IPO Members, the price of our Class A common stock at the time of the exchange, the extent to which such exchanges are taxable, the amount and timing of the taxable income we generate in the future and the tax rate then applicable and the portion of our payments under the tax receivable agreements constituting imputed interest.

The payments we are required to make under the tax receivable agreements could be substantial. We expect that, as a result of the amount of the increases in the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets of Virtu Financial, assuming no material changes in the relevant tax law and that we earn sufficient taxable income to realize in full the potential tax benefits described above, future payments to the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders in respect of the purchases, the exchanges and the Mergers in connection with our initial public offering, and the purchases and exchanges completed in connection with our subsequent public offering will aggregate approximately $218.4 million and range from approximately $8.1 million to $16.8 million per year over the next 15 years. Future payments under the tax receivable agreements in respect of subsequent exchanges would be in addition to these amounts and are expected to be substantial. The payments under the tax receivable agreements are not conditioned upon the Virtu Post‑IPO Members’ or the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders’ continued ownership of us.

In addition, although we are not aware of any issue that would cause the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) to challenge the tax basis increases or other benefits arising under the tax receivable agreements, the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders (or their transferees or other assignees) will not reimburse us for any payments previously made if such tax basis increases or other tax benefits are subsequently disallowed, except that any excess payments made to the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders will be netted against future payments otherwise to be made under the tax receivable agreements, if any, after our determination of such excess. As a result, in such circumstances we could make payments to the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders under the tax receivable agreements that are greater than our actual cash tax savings and may not be able to recoup those payments, which could negatively impact our liquidity.

In addition, the tax receivable agreements provide that, upon certain mergers, asset sales or other forms of business combination, or certain other changes of control, our or our successor’s obligations with respect to tax benefits would be based on certain assumptions, including that we or our successor would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize the increased tax deductions and tax basis and other benefits covered by the tax receivable agreements. As a result, upon a change of control, we could be required to make payments under a tax receivable agreement that are greater than the specified percentage of our actual cash tax savings, which could negatively impact our liquidity.

In addition, the tax receivable agreements provide that in the case of a change in control of the Company, the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholders have the option to terminate the applicable tax receivable agreement, and we are required to make a payment to such electing party in an amount equal to the present value of future payments (calculated using a discount rate equal to the lesser of 6.5% or LIBOR plus 100 basis points, which may differ from our, or a potential acquirer’s, then‑current cost of capital) under the tax receivable agreement,

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which payment would be based on certain assumptions, including those relating to our future taxable income. In these situations, our obligations under the tax receivable agreements could have a substantial negative impact on our, or a potential acquirer’s, liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring, modifying or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. These provisions of the tax receivable agreements may result in situations where the Virtu Post‑IPO Members and the Investor Post‑IPO Stockholder have interests that differ from or are in addition to those of our other shareholders. In addition, we could be required to make payments under the tax receivable agreements that are substantial and in excess of our, or a potential acquirer’s, actual cash savings in income tax.

Finally, because we are a holding company with no operations of our own, our ability to make payments under the tax receivable agreements are dependent on the ability of our subsidiaries to make distributions to us. Our credit agreement restricts the ability of our subsidiaries to make distributions to us, which could affect our ability to make payments under the tax receivable agreements. To the extent that we are unable to make payments under the tax receivable agreements for any reason, such payments will be deferred and will accrue interest until paid, which could negatively impact our results of operations and could also affect our liquidity in periods in which such payments are made.

Risks Related to Our Class A Common Stock

Substantial future sales of shares of our Class A common stock in the public market could cause our stock price to fall.

As of December 31, 2015, we had 38,210,209 shares of Class A common stock outstanding, excluding 11,592,956 shares of Class A common stock issuable pursuant to the 2015 Management Incentive Plan and 100,587,088 shares of Class A common stock issuable upon potential exchanges and/or conversions. Of these shares, the 25,485,483 shares sold in our initial public offering and Secondary Offering will be freely tradable without further restriction under the Securities Act. Upon the completion of this offering, the remaining 113,311,814 outstanding shares of Class A common stock, including shares issuable upon exchange and/or conversion are "restricted securities," as that term is defined under Rule 144 of the Securities Act. The holders of these remaining 113,311,814 shares of our Class A common stock, including shares issuable upon exchange or conversion as described above are entitled to dispose of their shares pursuant to (i) the applicable holding period, volume and other restrictions of Rule 144 or (ii) another exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Additional sales of a substantial number of our shares of Class A common stock in the public market, or the perception that sales could occur, could have a material adverse effect on the price of our Class A common stock.

We have filed a registration statement under the Securities Act registering 12,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock reserved for issuance under our 2015 Management Incentive Plan, 11,592,956 of which are issuable, and we entered into the Registration Rights Agreement pursuant to which we granted demand and piggyback registration rights to the Founder Post-IPO Member, the Silver Lake Equityholders (which, following the Secondary Offering, no longer hold any equity interest in us) and the Temasek Post-IPO Stockholder and piggyback registration rights to certain of the other Virtu Post-IPO Members.

Failure to establish and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and stock price.

Maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting is necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and is important in helping to prevent financial fraud. If we are unable to maintain adequate internal controls over financial reporting, our business and operating results could be harmed. We have begun to develop and implement a plan to test our internal controls over financial reporting to satisfy the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ("Sarbanes-Oxley") and the related rules of the SEC, which require, among other things, our management to assess annually the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and, if we are no longer an emerging growth company under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the "JOBS Act"), our independent registered public accounting firm to issue a report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting with our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2016.  The internal control assessment required by Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley may divert internal resources and we may experience higher operating expenses, higher independent

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auditor and consulting fees during the implementation of these changes.  During the course of this documentation and testing, we may identify deficiencies that we are unable to remediate before the reporting date. For the year ended December 31, 2013, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting. This material weakness related to our inability to prepare accurate financial statements, resulting from a lack of reconciliations, a lack of detailed review and insufficient resources and level of technical accounting expertise within the accounting function. To address this material weakness, we hired senior accounting and finance employees, reallocated existing internal resources and retained third-party consultants to help enhance our internal controls over financial reporting following reviews of our accounting and finance function conducted by members of senior management and by a third-party consultant. Although no material weakness was identified for the years ended December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015, there can be no assurance that we will avoid future material weaknesses. Any future material weaknesses or any failure to implement required new or improved controls or difficulties encountered in their implementation could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations or result in material misstatements in our consolidated financial statements. If our management or our independent registered public accounting firm were to conclude in their reports that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective, investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, and the trading price of our Class A common stock could drop significantly. Failure to comply with Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley could potentially subject us to sanctions or investigations by the SEC, FINRA or other regulatory authorities, as well as increasing the risk of liability arising from litigation based on securities law.

We intend to pay regular dividends to our stockholders, but our ability to do so may be limited by our holding company structure, contractual restrictions and regulatory requirements.

We intend to pay cash dividends on a quarterly basis. See Item 5, “Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.” However, we are a holding company, with our principal asset being our direct and indirect equity interests in Virtu Financial, and we will have no independent means of generating revenue. Accordingly, as the sole managing member of Virtu Financial, we intend to cause, and will rely on, Virtu Financial to make distributions to its equityholders, including the Founder Post-IPO Member, the Employee Trust, Virtu Employee Holdco and us, to fund our dividends. When Virtu Financial makes such distributions, the other equityholders of Virtu Financial will be entitled to receive equivalent distributions pro rata based on their economic interests in Virtu Financial. In order for Virtu Financial to make distributions, it may need to receive distributions from its subsidiaries. Certain of these subsidiaries are or may in the future be subject to regulatory capital requirements that limit the size or frequency of distributions. See " — Risks Related to Our Business — Failure to comply with applicable regulatory capital requirements could subject us to sanctions imposed by the SEC, FINRA and other SROs or regulatory bodies." If Virtu Financial is unable to cause these subsidiaries to make distributions, we may not receive adequate distributions from Virtu Financial in order to fund our dividends.

Our board of directors will periodically review the cash generated from our business and the capital expenditures required to finance our global growth plans and determine whether to modify the amount of regular dividends and/or declare periodic special dividends to our stockholders. Our board of directors will take into account general economic and business conditions, including our financial condition and results of operations, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, including restrictions contained in our credit agreement, business prospects and other factors that our board of directors considers relevant. There can be no assurance that our board of directors will not reduce the amount of regular cash dividends or cause us to cease paying dividends altogether. In addition, our credit agreement limits the amount of distributions our subsidiaries, including Virtu Financial, can make to us and the purposes for which distributions could be made. Accordingly, we may not be able to pay dividends even if our board of directors would otherwise deem it appropriate. See "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources."

Provisions in our charter documents and certain rules imposed by regulatory authorities may delay or prevent our acquisition by a third party.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and by-laws contain several provisions that may make it more difficult or expensive for a third party to acquire control of us without the approval of our board of directors. These

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provisions, which may delay, prevent or deter a merger, acquisition, tender offer, proxy contest or other transaction that stockholders may consider favorable, include the following, some of which may only become effective when the Founder Post-IPO Member or any of its affiliates or permitted transferees no longer beneficially own shares representing 25% of our issued and outstanding common stock (the "Triggering Event"):

·

the 10 vote per share feature of our Class B common stock and Class D common stock;

·

the division of our board of directors into three classes and the election of each class for three-year terms;

·

the sole ability of the board of directors to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the board of directors;

·

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and director nominations;

·

after the Triggering Event, provisions limiting stockholders ability to call special meetings of stockholders, to require special meetings of stockholders to be called and to take action by written consent;

·

after the Triggering Event, in certain cases, the approval of holders of at least 75% of the shares entitled to vote generally on the making, alteration, amendment or repeal of our certificate of incorporation or by-laws will be required to adopt, amend or repeal our by-laws, or amend or repeal certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation;

·

after the Triggering Event, the required approval of holders of at least 75% of the shares entitled to vote at an election of the directors to remove directors, which removal may only be for cause; and

·

the ability of our board of directors to designate the terms of and issue new series of preferred stock without stockholder approval, which could be used, among other things, to institute a rights plan that would have the effect of significantly diluting the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer, likely preventing acquisitions that have not been approved by our board of directors.

These provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and by-laws could discourage potential takeover attempts and reduce the price that investors might be willing to pay for shares of our Class A common stock in the future, which could reduce the market price of our Class A common stock.

In addition, a third party attempting to acquire us or a substantial position in our Class A common stock may be delayed or ultimately prevented from doing so by change in ownership or control regulations to which certain of our regulated subsidiaries are subject. FINRA's NASD Rule 1017 generally provides that FINRA approval must be obtained in connection with any transaction resulting in a single person or entity owning, directly or indirectly, 25% or more of a member firm's equity and would include a change in control of a parent company. Similarly, Virtu Financial Ireland Limited is subject to change in control regulations promulgated by the Central Bank of Ireland. We may also be subject to similar restrictions in other jurisdictions in which we operate. These regulations could discourage potential takeover attempts and reduce the price that investors might be willing to pay for shares of our Class A common stock in the future, which could reduce the market price of our Class A common stock.

Our stock price may be volatile.

The market price of our Class A common stock is subject to significant fluctuations in response to, among other factors, variations in our operating results and market conditions specific to our business. Furthermore, in recent years the stock market has experienced significant price and volume fluctuations. This volatility has had a significant impact on the market price of securities issued by many companies, including companies in our industry. The changes frequently appear to occur without regard to the operating performance of the affected companies. As such, the price of our Class A common stock could fluctuate based upon factors that have little or nothing to do with us, and these fluctuations could materially reduce the price of our Class A common stock and materially affect the value of your investment.

35


 

We will incur increased costs as a result of being a public company.

We completed our initial public offering in April 2015, and therefore we have a limited history operating as a public company. As a public company, we incur significant levels of legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a privately-owned company. Sarbanes-Oxley and related rules of the SEC, together with the listing requirements of NASDAQ, impose significant requirements relating to disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. We have incurred increased costs as a result of compliance with these public company requirements, which require additional resources and make some activities more time consuming than they have been in the past when we were privately owned. We may experience higher than anticipated operating expenses as well as higher independent auditor and consulting fees during the implementation of these changes and thereafter and we may need to hire additional qualified personnel in order to continue to satisfy these public company requirements. We are required to expend considerable time and resources complying with public company regulations. In addition, these laws and regulations may make it more difficult or costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. In addition, these laws and regulations could make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers and may divert management's attention. Furthermore, if we are unable to satisfy our obligations as a public company, we could be subject to delisting of our Class A common stock, fines, sanctions and other regulatory action.

Our reliance on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements under the JOBS Act may deter trading in our Class A common stock.

We qualify as an "emerging growth company" under the JOBS Act. As a result, we are permitted to, and have relied and intend to continue to rely, on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements. For so long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to:

·

provide an auditor attestation and report with respect to management's assessment of the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

·

comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor's report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (i.e., an auditor discussion and analysis); and

·

submit certain executive compensation matters to shareholder advisory votes, such as "say-on-pay" and "say-on-frequency," and disclose certain executive compensation related items such as the correlation between executive compensation and performance and comparisons of the Chief Executive Officer's compensation to median employee compensation.

In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected not to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period.

We will remain an "emerging growth company" for up to five years, or until the earliest of (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our total annual gross revenues exceed $1 billion, (ii) the date that we become a "large accelerated filer" as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), which would occur if the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter or (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt during the preceding three-year period.

Until such time, however, we cannot predict if investors will find our Class A common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our Class A common stock less attractive, there may be a less active trading market for our Class A common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

36


 

If securities or industry analysts cease to publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about us or our business, or publish projections for our business that exceed our actual results, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our Class A common stock may be affected by the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. If one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our Class A common stock or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price could decline. In addition, the analysts' projections may have little or no relationship to the results we actually achieve and could cause our stock price to decline if we fail to meet their projections. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of us or fails to publish reports on us regularly, our stock price or trading volume could decline.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Our headquarters are located in leased office space at 900 Third Avenue, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10022. We also lease spaces for our offices in Austin, Dublin, and Singapore. We consider the current arrangements to be adequate for our present needs.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

We are subject to various legal proceedings and claims that arise in the ordinary course of business. We also have been, are currently, and may in the future be, the subject of one or more regulatory or self-regulatory organization enforcement actions, including but not limited to targeted and routine regulatory inquiries and investigations involving Regulation NMS, Regulation SHO, capital requirements and other domestic and foreign securities rules and regulations which may from time to time result in the imposition of penalties or fines. In addition, in December 2015, the enforcement committee of the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) fined our European subsidiary in the amount of €5.0 million (approximately $5.4 million) based on its conclusion that the subsidiary engaged in price manipulation and violations of the AMF General Regulation and Euronext Market Rules.  The relevant trading activities were conducted on or around 2009, prior to our acquisition of the subsidiary from MTH.  We believe that the relevant trading engaged in by the subsidiary of MTH was conducted in accordance with applicable French law and regulations and we are pursuing our rights of appeal.  We have also been the subject of requests for information and documents from the SEC and the State of New York Office of the Attorney General (NYAG). 

 

Certain of these matters may result, or have resulted, in adverse judgments, settlements, fines, penalties, injunctions or other relief, and our business or reputation could be negatively impacted if it were determined that disciplinary or other enforcement actions were required. The ultimate effect on the Company from the pending proceedings and claims, if any, is presently unknown. Where available information indicates that it is probable a liability had been incurred at the date of the consolidated financial statements and we can reasonably estimate the amount of that loss, we accrue the estimated loss by a charge to income.  In accordance with the foregoing, we have accrued an estimated loss of €5.0 million (approximately $5.4 million) in relation to the fine imposed by the AMF.  Subject to the foregoing, based on information currently available, management believes it is not probable that the resolution of any known matters will result in a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows although they might be material for any particular reporting period.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not applicable. 

 

37


 

PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Market Prices

 

The following table shows the high and low sale price for the periods indicated the Company’s common stock, as reported by NASDAQ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 2015

 

 

 

Sale Price

 

 

Dividend per Share

 

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

 

of common stock

Period from January 1 through April 15

 

 

N/A

 

 

N/A

 

 

N/A

Period from April 16 through June 30

 

$

24.22

 

$

21.15

 

$

Period from July 1 through September 30

 

$

24.29

 

$

20.23

 

$

0.24

Period from October 1 through December 31

 

$

25.26

 

$

21.27

 

$

0.24

 

Holders

 

As of December 31, 2015, there were two stockholders of record of our Class A common stock, one of which was Cede & Co., a nominee for The Depository Trust Company. All of our Class A common stock held by brokerage firms, banks and other financial institutions as nominees for beneficial owners is considered to be held of record by Cede & Co., who is considered to be one stockholder of record. A substantially greater number of holders of our Class A common stock are “street name” or beneficial holders, whose shares of Class A common stock are held of record by banks, brokers and other financial institutions. Because such shares of Class A common stock are held on behalf of stockholders, and not by the stockholders directly, and because a stockholder can have multiple positions with different brokerage firms, banks and other financial institutions, we are unable to determine the total number of stockholders we have.

 

Dividend Policy

 

Our board of directors has adopted a policy of returning excess cash to our stockholders. Subject to the sole discretion of our board of directors and the considerations discussed below, we intend to pay dividends that will annually equal, in the aggregate, between 70% and 100% of our net income.

The Company paid cash dividends during the year ended 2015 as represented in the previous table.  The Company intends to continue paying regular quarterly dividends to our Class A and Class B common stockholders and to holders of Restricted Stock Units, however, the payment of dividends will be subject to general economic and business conditions, including the Company’s financial condition and results of operations, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, including restrictions contained in our credit agreement, regulatory restrictions, business prospects and other factors that the Company’s board of directors considers relevant.

Prior to the Reorganization, the Company has regularly declared and paid cash distributions on its equity interests during the year ended December 31, 2014. The Company declared and paid the following cash distributions, by quarter, during the year ended December 31, 2014:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aggregate

 

 

 

Cash

 

Year Ended December 31, 2014 (In millions)

  

Distributions

 

1rst Quarter

 

$

45.0

 

2nd Quarter

 

 

45.7

 

3rd Quarter

 

 

35.0

 

4th Quarter

 

 

15.0

 

Total distributions

 

$

140.7

 

38


 

Stock Performance

 

The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing. Our stock price performance shown in the graph below is not indicative of future stock price performance.

 

The stock performance graph below compares the performance of an investment in our Class A common stock, from April 16, 2015, the date of our initial public offering, through December 31, 2015, with the S&P 500 Index and the NYSE ARCA Securities Broker/Dealer Index. The graph assumes $100 was invested in our Class A common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the NYSE ARCA Securities Broker/Dealer Index. It assumes that dividends were reinvested on the date of payment without payment of any commissions or consideration of income taxes.

 

Picture 1

 

Use of proceeds from Initial Public Offering and Secondary Offering

 

On April 16, 2015, the Company commenced the initial public offering of 19,012,112 shares of Class A common stock. Upon consummation of the IPO, the total gross proceeds of the offering were approximately $361.2 million. Of the proceeds, approximately $25.2 million was used to pay underwriting discounts and commissions, approximately $277.2 million was used to purchase 3,470,724 shares of Class A common stock from the Silver Lake Post‑IPO Stockholder and 12,214,224 Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock from certain of the Virtu Post‑IPO Members, including 4,862,609 Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock from the Silver Lake Post‑IPO Members and 7,351,615 Virtu Financial Units and corresponding shares of Class C common stock from certain employees. The remaining $58.8 million of net proceeds was contributed by the Company to Virtu Financial, the operating company, which will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. Other offering costs incurred were approximately $8.6 million and were paid by Virtu Financial.

On November 12, the Company commenced the Secondary Offering of 6,473,371 shares of Class A common stock which was completed by the Company and certain selling stockholders affiliated with Silver Lake Partners. The selling stockholders sold 6,075,837 shares of Class A common stock and the Company sold 397,534 shares of Class A common stock at a price to the public of $22.15 per share.  The selling stockholders received all of the net proceeds from the sale of shares of Class A common stock by them in the offering.  The Company used its net proceeds from the offering to purchase common units in Virtu Financial (and paired shares of Class C common stock) from one of its non-

39


 

executive employees at a net price equal to the price paid by the underwriters for shares of its Class A common stock.  Following the Secondary Offering Silver Lake Partners no longer holds any equity interest in us.

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

The following table provides information about shares of common stock available for future awards under all of the Company’s equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2015:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan Category

 

Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights

 

 

Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights

 

Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

 

2015 Management Incentive Plan

 

9,978,466

 

$

19.33

 

1,614,490

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

 

None

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 —

Total

 

 

 

9,978,466

 

$

19.33

 

1,614,490

 

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

 

The following table sets forth selected historical consolidated financial data for the periods beginning on and after January 1, 2013. We were formed on October 16, 2013 and, prior to the consummation of the reorganization transactions and our initial public offering, did not conduct any activities other than those incident to our formation and our initial public offering.  Our consolidated financial statements reflect, for all the periods prior to April 16, 2015 (the period prior to completion of the reorganization transactions), the operations of Virtu Financial and its consolidated subsidiaries, and for all periods on or after April 16, 2015, the operations of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries (including Virtu Financial). The consolidated statements of comprehensive income data for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 and consolidated statements of financial condition data as of December 31, 2015 and 2014 have been derived from our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 

40


 

The following selected historical financial and other data should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our respective consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended Dec. 31,

 

(In thousands, except share and per share data)

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income Data:

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

    

 

    

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading income, net

 

$

757,455

 

$

685,150

 

$

623,733

 

$

581,476

 

Interest and dividends income

 

 

28,136

 

 

27,923

 

 

31,090

 

 

34,152

 

Technology services

 

 

10,622

 

 

9,980

 

 

9,682

 

 

 —

 

Total revenues

 

 

796,213

 

 

723,053

 

 

664,505

 

 

615,628

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokerage, exchange and clearance fees, net

 

 

232,469

 

 

230,965

 

 

195,146

 

 

200,587

 

Communication and data processing

 

 

68,647

 

 

68,847

 

 

64,689

 

 

55,384

 

Employee compensation and payroll taxes

 

 

88,026

 

 

84,531

 

 

78,353

 

 

63,836

 

Interest and dividends expense

 

 

52,423

 

 

47,083

 

 

45,196

 

 

48,735

 

Operations and administrative

 

 

25,991

 

 

21,923

 

 

27,215

 

 

27,826

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

33,629

 

 

30,441

 

 

23,922

 

 

17,975

 

Amortization of purchased intangibles and acquired capitalized software

 

 

211

 

 

211

 

 

1,011

 

 

71,654

 

Acquisition cost

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

69

 

Acquisition related retention bonus

 

 

 —

 

 

2,639

 

 

6,705

 

 

6,151

 

Impairment of intangible assets

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,489

 

Lease abandonment

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

6,134

 

Debt issue cost related to debt refinancing(1)

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

10,022

 

 

 —

 

Initial public offering fees and expenses(2)

 

 

 —

 

 

8,961

 

 

 

 

 

Transaction advisory fees and expenses(3)

 

 

 —

 

 

3,000

 

 

 

 

 

Reserve for legal matter(4)

 

 

5,440

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Charges related to share based compensation at IPO(5)

 

 

44,194

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financing interest expense on senior secured credit facility

 

 

29,254

 

 

30,894

 

 

24,646

 

 

26,460

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

580,284

 

 

529,495

 

 

476,905

 

 

526,300

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

215,929

 

 

193,558

 

 

187,600

 

 

89,328

 

Provision for income taxes

 

 

18,439

 

 

3,501

 

 

5,397

 

 

1,768

 

Net income

 

$

197,490

 

$

190,057

 

$

182,203

 

$

87,560

 

Noncontrolling interest

 

 

(176,603)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income available for common stockholders

 

$

20,887

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

$

0.59

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

34,964,312

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

 

35,339,585

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

197,490

 

$

190,057

 

$

182,203

 

$

87,560

 

Other comprehensive income (loss)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign exchange translation adjustment

 

 

(4,255)

 

 

(5,032)

 

 

1,382

 

 

548

 

Comprehensive income

 

 

193,235

 

$

185,025

 

$

183,585

 

$

88,108

 

Less: Comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interest

 

 

(172,249)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive income attributable to common stockholders

 

$

20,986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of December 31, 

 

 

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

 

Consolidated Statements of Financial Condition Data:

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

163,235

 

$

75,864

 

$

66,010

 

$

39,978

 

Total assets

 

 

3,391,930

 

 

3,319,458

 

 

3,963,570

 

 

3,208,947

 

Senior secured credit facility

 

 

493,589

 

 

495,724

 

 

500,827

 

 

256,309

 

Total liabilities

 

 

2,834,060

 

 

2,812,760

 

 

3,510,282

 

 

2,518,712

 

Class A-1 redeemable interest(6)

 

 

 —

 

 

294,433

 

 

250,000

 

 

250,000

 

Total stockholders' / members' equity

 

 

130,708

 

 

212,265

 

 

203,288

 

 

440,235

 

Noncontrolling interest

 

 

427,162

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Total equity

 

 

557,870

 

 

506,698

 

 

453,288

 

 

690,235

 

 


 

(1)

In connection with the Madison Tyler Transactions, Virtu Financial entered into a $320.0 million senior secured credit facility, which was subsequently refinanced. A portion of certain financing costs incurred in connection with the original credit facility that were scheduled to be amortized over the five‑year term of the loan, including original issue discount and underwriting and legal fees, were accelerated and recognized at the closing of the refinancing.

 

(2)

Initial public offering fees and expenses reflect costs directly attributable to the Company’s initial public offering process, which was postponed in April 2014. The Company accounted for such costs in accordance with ASC 340‑10, Other Assets and Deferred Costs. ASC 340 states that costs directly attributable to a successfully completed offering of equity securities may be deferred and charged against the gross proceeds of the offering as a reduction of additional paid‑in capital, but for an offering postponed for a period greater than 90 days, the offering costs must be charged as an expense in the period the offering process was postponed.

 

(3)

Transaction advisory fees reflect professional fees incurred by the Company in connection with the Temasek Transaction, which was consummated on December 31, 2014.

 

(4)

In December 2015, the enforcement committee of the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) fined the Company’s European subsidiary in the amount of €5.0 million (approximately $5.4 million) based on its allegations that the subsidiary of MTH engaged in price manipulation and violations of the AMF General Regulation and Euronext Market Rules.  In accordance with the foregoing, the Company accrued an estimated loss in relation to the fine imposed by the AMF.

 

(5)

Represents non‑cash compensation expenses in respect of the outstanding time vested Class B interests of Virtu Financial and East MIP Class B interests recognized at the consummation of our initial public offering and through the period ended December 31, 2015, net of $9.2 million and $8.5 million in capitalization and amortization, respectively, of the costs attributable to employees incurred in development of software for internal use.

 

(6)

The Class A‑1 interests of Virtu Financial were convertible by the holders at any time into an equivalent number of Class A‑2 capital interests of Virtu Financial and, in a sale or other specified capital transaction, holders were entitled to receive distributions up to specified preference amounts before holders of Class A‑2 capital interests of Virtu Financial were entitled to receive distributions. In connection with the reorganization transactions, all of the existing equity interests in Virtu Financial were reclassified into Virtu Financial Units. See Note 13, “Capital Structure” within our consolidated financial statements.

42


 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following management's discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations covers the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 and should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed below. Unless otherwise stated, all amounts are presented in thousands of dollars.

 

Overview

 

We are a leading technology-enabled market maker and liquidity provider to the global financial markets. We stand ready, at any time, to buy or sell a broad range of securities, and we generate revenue by buying and selling large volumes of securities and other financial instruments and earning small bid/ask spreads. We make markets by providing quotations to buyers and sellers in more than 12,000 securities and other financial instruments on more than 230 unique exchanges, markets and liquidity pools in 35 countries around the world. We believe that our broad diversification, in combination with our proprietary technology platform and low-cost structure, enables us to facilitate risk transfer between global capital markets participants by supplying liquidity and competitive pricing while at the same time earning attractive margins and returns.

 

We believe that market makers like us serve an important role in maintaining and improving the overall health and efficiency of the global capital markets by continuously posting bids and offers for financial instruments and thereby providing to market participants an efficient means to transfer risk. All market participants benefit from the increased liquidity, lower overall trading costs and execution certainty that we provide.

 

We refer to our market making activities as being ‘‘market neutral,’’ which means that we are not dependent on the direction of a particular market and do not speculate. Our market making activities are designed to minimize capital at risk at any given time by limiting the notional size of our positions. Our strategies are also designed to lock in returns through precise hedging, as we seek to eliminate the price risk in any positions held.

 

Our revenue generation is driven primarily by transaction volume across a broad range of securities, asset classes and geographies. We avoid the risk of long or short positions in favor of earning small bid/ask spreads on large trading volumes across thousands of securities and financial instruments. We also generate revenue from interest and dividends on securities that we hold from time to time in connection with our market making activities and, beginning in 2013, from the sale of licensed technology and related services. Our revenues are also impacted by levels of volatility in a given period. Increases in market volatility can cause bid/ask spreads to widen as market participants are willing to incur greater costs to transact, which we benefit from.

 

Virtu Financial was formed as a Delaware limited liability company on April 8, 2011 in connection with our acquisition (the “Madison Tyler Transactions”) of Madison Tyler Holdings, when the members of Virtu Financial’s predecessor entity, Virtu East, which was formed and commenced operations on March 19, 2008, exchanged their interests in Virtu East for interests in Virtu Financial. On July 8, 2011, we completed our acquisition of Madison Tyler Holdings, which was co-founded by Mr. Vincent Viola, our Founder and Executive Chairman. Madison Tyler Holdings was an electronic trading firm and market maker on numerous exchanges and electronic marketplaces in equities, fixed income, currencies and commodities, and the Madison Tyler Transactions expanded our geographic and product market as well as our market penetration in existing markets. Virtu Financial is a holding company that conducts its business through its operating subsidiaries.

 

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We believe the overall level of volumes in the various markets we serve has the greatest impact on our business. We believe that the most relevant asset class distinctions and venues for the markets we serve include the following:

 

 

 

 

Asset

 

 

Classes

 

Selected Venues in Which We Make Markets

Americas Equities

 

Aequitas Neo, BATS, BM&F Bovespa, CME, ICE, IEX, NASDAQ, NYSE,  NYSE Arca, NYSE MKT, TMX, major private liquidity pools

EMEA Equities

 

Amsterdam, Aquis, BATS Europe, Bolsa de Madrid, Borsa Italiana, Brussels, EUREX, Euronext -Paris, ICE Futures Europe, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Lisbon, London Stock Exchange,  SIX Swiss Exchange, Turquoise Exchange, XETRA

APAC Equities

 

OSE, SBI Japannext, SGX, TOCOM, TSE

Global Commodities

 

CME, EBS, ICE, ICE Futures Europe, NASDAQ Energy Exchange, SGX, TOCOM

Global Currencies

 

CME, Currenex, EBS, HotSpot, ICE, LMAX, Reuters/FXall

Options, Fixed Income and Other Securities

 

BOX, BrokerTec, CBOE, eSpeed, NYSE Arca Options, PHLX

 

Basis of Preparation

 

We were formed as a Delaware corporation on October 16, 2013 and, prior to the reorganization transactions and our initial public offering, did not conduct any activities other than those incident to our formation and our initial public offering. The consolidated statement of comprehensive income data for the period from April 16, 2015 through December 31, 2015 and statement of financial condition data as of December 31, 2015 have been derived from our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this document. Our consolidated financial statements reflect, for periods prior to April 16, 2015 (the period prior to completion of the reorganization transactions), the operations of Virtu Financial and its consolidated subsidiaries and for all periods on or after April 16, 2015, the operations of the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries (including Virtu Financial). The consolidated statements of comprehensive income data for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 and statement of financial condition data as of December 31, 2014 has been derived from Virtu Financial's audited financial statements. As a result, our historical financial statements may not reflect our future operating results because they do not reflect the reorganization transactions on our initial public offering for all periods.

 

Distributions in Connection with the IPO

 

On June 12, 2015, September 14, 2015 and November 20, 2015, Virtu Financial made cash distributions totaling $15.0 million to certain of the holders of its outstanding equity interests prior to the consummation of the Reorganization Transactions (such holders, the Virtu Financial, “Pre-IPO Members”). Additionally, Virtu Financial intends to make further cash distributions of up to $35.0 million to the Virtu Financial Pre-IPO Members. The Company expects that these further distributions will be funded from cash on hand and excess cash held as clearing deposits with broker dealers and clearing organizations. See “Corporate History” for details on our reorganization transactions and IPO.

 

2015 Management Incentive Plan

 

The Company’s Board of Directors and stockholders adopted the 2015 Management Incentive Plan, which became effective upon consummation of the IPO. The 2015 Management Incentive Plan provides for the grant of stock options, restricted stock units, and other awards based on an aggregate of 12,000,000 shares of Class A common stock, subject to additional sublimits, including limits on the total option grant to any one participant in a single year and the total performance award to any one participant in a single year.

 

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In connection with the IPO, non-qualified stock options to purchase 9,228,000 shares were granted at the IPO per share price, each of which vests in equal annual installments over a period of four years from grant date and expires not later than 10 years from the date of grant.  Subsequent to the IPO and during the period ended December 31, 2015, options to purchase 234,000 shares in the aggregate were forfeited.  The fair value of the stock option grants were determined through the application of the Black-Scholes-Merton model and will be recognized on a straight line basis over the vesting period.  In connection with and subsequent to the IPO, 407,044 shares of immediately vested Class A common stock and 984,466 restricted stock units were granted, which vest over a period of up to 4 years and are settled in shares of Class A common stock. The fair value of the Class A common stock and restricted stock units was determined based on the volume weighted average price for the three days preceding the grant, and with respect to the restricted stock units, a projected annual forfeiture rate, and will be recognized on a straight line basis over the vesting period.

 

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Components of Our Results of Operations

 

The table below sets forth certain components of our consolidated statements of comprehensive income as well as factors that impact such components. We present our results under one reportable segment, which is consistent with our structure and how we manage our business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31, 

 

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

    

2015

    

2014

    

2013

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trading income, net

    

$

757,455

 

$

685,150

 

$

623,733

 

Interest and dividends income

 

 

28,136

 

 

27,923

 

 

31,090

 

Technology services

 

 

10,622

 

 

9,980

 

 

9,682

 

Total revenue

 

 

796,213

 

 

723,053

 

 

664,505

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokerage, exchange and clearance fees, net

 

 

232,469

 

 

230,965

 

 

195,146

 

Communication and data processing

 

 

68,647

 

 

68,847

 

 

64,689

 

Employee compensation and payroll taxes

 

 

88,026

 

 

84,531

 

 

78,353

 

Interest and dividends expense

 

 

52,423

 

 

47,083

 

 

45,196

 

Operations and administrative

 

 

25,991

 

 

21,923

 

 

27,215

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

33,629

 

 

30,441

 

 

23,922

 

Amortization of purchased intangibles and acquired capitalized software

 

 

211

 

 

211

 

 

1,011

 

Acquisition related retention bonus

 

 

 —

 

 

2,639

 

 

6,705

 

Debt issue cost related to debt refinancing

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

10,022

 

Initial public offering fees and expenses

 

 

 —

 

 

8,961

 

 

 —

 

Transaction advisory fees and expenses

 

 

 —

 

 

3,000

 

 

 —

 

Reserve for legal matter

 

 

5,440

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Charges related to share based compensation at IPO

 

 

44,194

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Financing interest expense on senior secured credit facility

 

 

29,254

 

 

30,894

 

 

24,646

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

580,284

 

 

529,495

 

 

476,905

 

Income before income taxes and noncontrolling interest

 

 

215,929

 

 

193,558

 

 

187,600

 

Provision for income taxes

 

 

18,439

 

 

3,501

 

 

5,397

 

Net income

 

$

197,490

 

$

190,057

 

$

182,203

 

Noncontrolling interest

 

 

(176,603)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income available for common stockholders

 

$

20,887

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

0.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

 

0.59

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

34,964,312

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

 

35,339,585

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

197,490

 

$

190,057

 

$

182,203

 

Other comprehensive income (loss)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign exchange translation adjustment, net of taxes

 

 

(4,255)

 

 

(5,032)

 

 

1,382

 

Comprehensive income

 

 

193,235

 

$

185,025

 

$

183,585

 

Less: Comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interest

 

 

(172,249)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive income attributable to common stockholders

 

$

20,986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Revenues

 

The majority of our revenues are generated through market making activities and are recorded as trading income. In addition, we generate revenues from interest and dividends income as well as the sale of licensed technology and related services.

 

Trading Income, Net. Trading income, net, represents revenue earned from bid/ask spreads. Trading income is generated in the normal course of our market making activities and is typically proportional to the level of trading activity, or volumes, in the asset classes we serve. Our trading income is highly diversified by asset class and geography and is comprised of small amounts earned on millions of trades on various exchanges, primarily in Americas, EMEA and

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APAC equities, global currencies, global commodities, including energy and metals, and options, fixed income and other securities. Trading income, net, includes trading income earned from bid/ask spreads. Our trading income, net, results from gains and losses associated with economically neutral trading strategies, which are designed to capture small bid ask spreads and often involve making markets in a derivative versus a correlated instrument that is not a derivative. These transactions often result in a gain or loss on the derivative and a corresponding loss or gain on the non-derivative. Trading income, net, accounted for 95%, 95% and 94% of our total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.

 

Interest and Dividends Income. Our market making activities require us to hold an inventory of securities on a regular basis, and we generate revenues in the form of interest and dividends income from these securities. Interest is earned on securities borrowed from other market participants pursuant to collateralized financing arrangements and on cash held by brokers. Dividends income arises from holding market making positions over dates on which dividends are paid to shareholders of record.

 

Technology Services. We began providing technology services to a third party in 2013 pursuant to a three-year arrangement. Technology services revenues represent fees charged for the licensing of our proprietary technology and the provision of related services, including hosting, management and support. These fees include an up-front component and a recurring fee for the relevant term. Revenue is recognized ratably for these services over the contractual term of the agreement.

 

Operating Expenses

 

Brokerage, Exchange and Clearance Fees, Net. Brokerage, exchange and clearance fees are our most significant expense and include the direct expenses of executing and clearing transactions we consummate in the course of our market making activities. Brokerage, exchange and clearance fees include fees paid to various prime brokers, exchanges and clearing firms for services such as execution of transactions, prime brokerage fees, access fees and clearing expenses. These expenses generally increase and decrease in direct correlation with our volumes and the level of trading activity in the markets we serve. Execution fees are paid primarily to exchanges and venues where we trade. Clearance fees are paid to clearing houses and clearing agents. Rebates based on volume discounts, credits or payments received from exchanges or other market places are netted against brokerage, exchange and clearance fees.

 

Communication and Data Processing. Communication and data processing represent primarily fixed expenses for leased equipment, equipment co-location, network lines and connectivity for our trading centers and co-location facilities. More specifically, communications expense consists primarily of the cost of voice and data telecommunication lines supporting our business, including connectivity to data centers and exchanges, markets and liquidity pools around the world, and data processing expense consists primarily of market data fees that we pay to third parties to receive price quotes and related information.

 

Employee Compensation and Payroll Taxes. Employee compensation and payroll taxes include employee salaries, cash and non-cash incentive compensation, employee benefits, payroll taxes, severance and other employee related costs. Non-cash compensation includes, prior to the Reorganization Transactions, the share based-incentive compensation paid to employees in the form of Class A-2 profits interests in Virtu Employee Holdco, which held corresponding Class A-2 profits interests in Virtu Financial.  Additionally, after the Reorganization, it includes non-cash compensation expenses with respect to the stock options and restricted stock units granted in connection with and subsequent to the IPO pursuant to the 2015 Management Incentive Plan. We have capitalized and excluded from this calculation employee compensation and benefits related to software development of $10.1 million, $9.8 million, and $10.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.

 

Interest and Dividends Expense. We incur interest expense from loaning certain equity securities in the general course of our market making activities pursuant to collateralized lending transactions. Typically, dividend expense is incurred when a dividend is paid on securities sold short.

 

Operations and Administrative. Operations and administrative expense represents occupancy, recruiting, travel and related expense, professional fees and other expenses.

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Depreciation and Amortization. Depreciation and amortization expense results from the depreciation of fixed assets, such as computing and communications hardware, as well as amortization of leasehold improvements and capitalized in-house software development. We depreciate our computer hardware and related software, office hardware and furniture and fixtures on a straight line basis over a period of 3 to 7 years based on the estimated useful life of the underlying asset, and we amortize our capitalized software development costs on a straight line basis over a period of 1.4 to 2.5 years, which represents the estimated useful lives of the underlying software. We amortize leasehold improvements on a straight line basis over the lesser of the life of the improvement or the term of the lease.

 

Amortization of Purchased Intangibles and Acquired Capitalized Software. Amortization of purchased intangibles and acquired capitalized software consist primarily of the amortization of $110 million of assets purchased in the Madison Tyler Transactions and the amortization of $1.9 million of assets acquired in the Nyenburgh Holding B.V. Transaction. These assets are amortized over their useful lives, ranging from 1.4 to 9 years.

 

Acquisition Related Retention Bonus. In connection with the Madison Tyler Transactions, we established a $21.5 million retention bonus plan for Madison Tyler Holdings employees, to be paid out in five installments through July 8, 2014. This expense was amortized on a straight line basis and, in the absence of changes in the amounts capitalized as related to software development or accelerated recognition of certain terminated employees, the expense is consistent over equivalent periods.

 

Debt Issue Costs Related to Debt Refinancing. The financing of our senior secured credit facility or any other indebtedness has and, may in the future result in the acceleration of debt issue costs incurred at issuance and originally scheduled to be amortized over the life of the loan.

Initial Public Offering Fees and Expenses. IPO fees and expenses reflect costs directly attributable to the Company’s IPO process, which was postponed in April 2014. The Company accounted for such costs in accordance with ASC 340-10, Other Assets and Deferred Costs. ASC 340 states that costs directly attributable to a successfully completed offering of equity securities may be deferred and charged against the gross proceeds of the offering as a reduction of additional paid-in capital, but for an offering postponed for a period greater than 90 days, the offering costs must be charged as an expense in the period the offering process was postponed.

 

Transaction Advisory Fees and Expenses.  Transaction advisory fees and expenses reflect professional fees incurred by the Company in con