Wall Street-backed MEMX obtains SEC approval for options trading platform

Rick Steves

The company has raised more than $135 million in funding from 18 stock trading and investing heavyweights, including BlackRock, Citadel Securities, and Morgan Stanley.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved market operator MEMX’s rule filing to launch a platform for trading listed options.

MEMX Options is now authorized to leverage the strengths of MEMX’s exchange architecture and infrastructure, including a price time-model. The exchange is expected to launch in early 2023.

Since launching in the fall of 2020, MEMX has quickly grown to over 4% market share and has become a significant source for liquidity in U.S cash equities.

In addition, MEMX has proposed a series of common-sense equity market structure proposals, such as round lot and tick size reform. The exchange aims to offer its market data products at significantly lower pricing.

MEMX was founded in 2019 to provide a simpler platform and features to benefit both retail and institutional investors. It launched in the fall of 2020 and has now obtained the much-awaited SEC approval to launch the platform for trading listed options, MEMX Options.

MEMX is backed by Wall Street giants

MEMX stands for Members Exchange and started as a protest by banks and market makers against the rising data and connectivity fees charged by U.S. stock exchanges.

The company has locked in more than $135 million in funding from 18 stock trading and investing heavyweights, including BlackRock, Citadel Securities, and Morgan Stanley.

Chief executive Jonathan Kellner was previously the CEO of Nomura Holdings Inc.’s Instinet.

Jonathan Kellner, Chief Executive Officer at MEMX, commented: “We’re pleased to have received SEC approval as we continue to prepare for our launch. We’re excited to build upon our successful track record of delivering value to market participants. MEMX Options will use technological advancements to increase determinism, reduce costs and drive competitive improvements for our options members, just as we did in equities.”

Geralyn Endo, Member Experience for MEMX Options, said: “The creation of MEMX Options was driven by a desire to extend the vision of a member-aligned market to the options community. Over the past few months, we have had productive discussions with a wide range of participants to understand where we can add value to the options exchange landscape. SEC approval of our exchange takes us one step closer to realizing the vision of an options exchange dedicated to advancing its members’ needs.”

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