MEMX, backed by Wall Street, obtains SEC approval for options trading platform

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

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the filing of rules by market operator MEMX to launch a listed options trading platform.

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

Since its launch in the fall of 2020, MEMX has quickly grown to over 4% market share and has become an important source of liquidity in US equities.

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

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

MEMX stands for Members Exchange and began as a protest by banks and market makers against rising data and connectivity fees charged by US exchanges.

The company has secured more than $135 million in funding from 18 equity trading and investment heavyweights, including BlackRock, Citadel Securities and Morgan Stanley.

Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Kellner was previously Instinet’s CEO of Nomura Holdings Inc.

Jonathan Kellner, CEO of MEMX, said, “We are pleased to have received SEC approval as we continue to prepare for our launch. We are excited to build on our successful track record of creating value for market participants. MEMX Options will use advances in technology to increase determinism, reduce costs and improve the competitiveness of our members in options, just as we have done in stocks.

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 marketplace 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 trading landscape. The approval of our exchange by the SEC brings us one step closer to realizing the vision of an options exchange dedicated to advancing the needs of its members.

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