December 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm ET
Trump Selects High-Speed Trading Firm Exec as Army Secretary
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, a former Army infantry officer and the founder and executive chairman of high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial, as Army secretary, Trump’s transition team announced Monday.
“Whether it is his distinguished military service or highly impressive track record in the world of business, Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge,” Trump said in a statement.
Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised Viola’s nomination, which portends well for his confirmation process.
“Of course, all PEOTUS’ nominees need a thorough investigation & questioning at their Senate hearings but Mr. Viola is up to the job,” the New York Democrat said on Twitter.
Viola, a West Point graduate and New York City resident, led the New York Mercantile Exchange on and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the transition team said. He founded Virtu in 2008, one of several ventures including Pioneer Futures, the Independent Bank Group and his purchase of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.
“A primary focus of my leadership will be ensuring that America’s soldiers have the ways and means to fight and win across the full spectrum of conflict,” Viola said in a statement. “This great honor comes with great responsibility, and I will fight for the American people and their right to live free every day.”
Trump’s team also cited Viola’s experience in cybersecurity and counterterrorism efforts.
High-frequency trading firms like Virtu have come under regulatory scrutiny recently, with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in November revising a proposal that could give it access to their algorithms without court orders. Industry leaders say that provision is likely to languish under the Trump administration, though they like the overall regulation aside from the source code component.
Jon Reid contributed.