SELL SIDE

Virtu slashes KCG staff by more than a third

Virtu has trimmed headcount and shut down unprofitable businesses following its $1.4 billion KCG takeover.

By Hayley McDowell hayley.mcdowell@strategic-i.com August 10, 2017 9:25 AM GMT

Virtu Financial has cut more than a third of KCG’s employees, mostly from management level, as the firm looks to trim costs following its acquisition.

Speaking on the firm’s quarterly earnings call, Doug Cifu, CEO at Virtu Financial, explained at the end of last year KCG’s headcount stood at 952, but this has been reduced by 36% to just 610.

He added the headcount of the combined entity following the acquisition of KCG currently stands at 755, down 31% from 1,100 people in December last year.

Chief financial officer at Virtu, Joseph Molluso, told investors the firm has taken necessary action to shut down businesses that were failing.

“We're pretty lean and mean here,” he said.

“We don’t have that kind of management layer and we eliminated that. A lot of the good share mass if you will of having a big firm that just didn’t really reconcile with our style of running a business, has been eliminated.”

Since the completion of the $1.4 billion takeover in July, offices in Singapore and India have been closed and the proprietary trading business in London was shut down.

Virtu saw a difficult second quarter this year, with total revenues down 17% from $145 million, down from $174 million during the second quarter last year.

Cifu claimed historically low global volatility and challenging market conditions had persisted in the second quarter this year.

“We continue to be disciplined in our approach to market making and vigilant around costs to support our results,” he said.