MEMX prepares to complete launch following delays

US challenger exchange MEMX currently has 541 symbols trading as it prepares to go live in all NMS names this week. 

US equities exchange MEMX is ready to go live in all NMS names and conclude its launch process on 29 October following delays due to the global pandemic.

The exchange operator said that after a month of adding new securities to its offering 541 symbols are now trading on MEMX with participation from member firms.

“We are encouraged by the fact that MEMX is at the national best bid and offer over two thirds of the time in our fifty most active names, but recognise it is too early to draw any conclusions,” said MEMX chief executive, Jonathan Kellner. 

“We look forward to having the entire universe of NMS names live on our platform and will continue to optimise system determinism and performance as we transition into the next phase of our operations.”

Initially due to launch on 24 July, the exchange was forced to delay until 4 September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then forced to delay once again until 21 September due to similar hurdles.

On its first day of trading last month, MEMX traded 60,957 shares on 857 executions and had 25 firms execute trades. By the first week of trading, MEMX traded more than one million shares in seven symbols from 31 members.

Founded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, E*TRADE, Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade, UBS, and Virtu Financial, MEMX now rivals incumbent US exchange groups NYSE and Nasdaq. It aims to offer a low-cost and transparent trading venue to investors.

Prior to launch, MEMX gained further backing from investment banking giants Citi, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, as well as from US asset manager BlackRock.