Wall Street-backed stock exchange MEMX kicks off trading

September 21, 2020.

Members Exchange, a new stock exchange backed by a slew of banks and other financial firms, commenced trading activity on Monday with seven listed securities, including for prominent companies such as Google’s parent Alphabet, ExxonMobil and Ford.

The new venue, also called MEMX, said that it is offering trades for five companies’ stocks, bonds for Ford and an exchange-traded fund offered by BlackRock unit iShares.

“The initial seven securities are Acasti Pharma Inc. (ACST), Alphabet Inc. (GOOG), BlackBerry Ltd. (BB), Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED), Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), Ford Motor Co. 6.20% Notes Due June 1, 2059 (F-B), and the iShares Ultra Short-Term Bond ETF (ICSH),” MEMX said.

The Monday rollout is the first phase for trading, MEMX said. For the second phase, the exchange added that, “It will trade all National Market System (NMS) listings.”

MEMX, which launched in January 2019 and received its operations approval in May from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has a sizable list of prominent firms backing it. The exchange’s investors include , BlackRock, Wells Fargo, , JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, UBS, Charles Schwab, E*TRADE, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Jane Street, Virtu Financial, Manikay Partners, Flow Traders and Williams Trading.

“I want to thank MEMX's investors for their vision and commitment and express my appreciation to our nearly 50 exchange members for joining a new venue,” MEMX CEO Jonathan Kellner said in a statement. “We remain focused on our mission to improve markets through technological innovation, reduced complexity, and lower fees, while serving as a voice for all investors in market structure discussions.”

The new exchange joins a concentrated U.S. market when measured by the SEC’s list of National Securities Exchanges, a category that is dominated by the New York Stock Exchange, and Cboe.

The launch follows recent testing steps undertaken, MEMX said.

“Prior to today’s launch, MEMX began production trading in all NMS test symbols on September 8th,” the exchange said in a statement. “The company also conducted three successful User Acceptance Tests (UATs) with customers in August.”