Shares of Intercontinental Exchange — the company that owns the NYSE — fell more than 2 percent Monday as some of Wall Street’s largest financial companies neared the launch of a low-cost rival trading platform.
Shares of Nasdaq also fell more than 2 percent Monday.
The new venue is called Members Exchange, or MEMX. Nine banks, brokerages and other firms including Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments and Citadel Securities will maintain control over MEMX. MEMX investors also include Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS, as well as retail brokers Charles Schwab, E-Trade and TD Ameritrade.
“MEMX’s mission is to increase competition, improve operational transparency, further reduce fixed costs, and simplify the execution of equity trading in the U.S.,” according to a press release announcing the exchange. “In addition, MEMX will represent the interests of its founders’ collective client base, comprised of retail and institutional investors on U.S. market structure issues. MEMX will seek to offer a simple trading model with basic order types, the latest technology, and a simple, low-cost fee structure.”
Members of the investor group plan to apply for exchange status with the Securities and Exchange Commission early this year. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the upcoming exchange launch.
In a statement, Nasdaq said: “We welcome competition to our transparent, highly regulated equity markets. However, with more than 40 equity trading venues already in operation in the United States, we are keen to learn more about the value proposition of a new exchange.”
The launch of another stock exchange would come amid a mass migration toward cheap, no-fee investing options and exchanges across Wall Street. Another such company, the IEX Group, emerged in 2016 with a system that slowed down trading in an effort to neutralize the effect of high-frequency trading. Controversial at first, the so-called speed bumps have proliferated among U.S. market sites, though they differ from IEX’s to varying degrees.
The 2-year-old IEX, which was founded in 2012, had its first stock listing as of September.