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Virtu’s Shareholders Said to Include Industry Critic T. Rowe

T. Rowe Price Group Inc., one of the biggest critics of high-frequency trading, now finds itself in a seemingly surprising spot: It acquired shares of HFT firm Virtu Financial Inc., a key player in reshaping how everything from stocks to currencies are bought and sold.

The money manager purchased shares in Virtu’s initial public offering Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Andy Brooks, head of U.S. equity trading at T. Rowe Price, and Alan Sobba, a spokesman for Virtu, declined to comment.