Texas is coming for Wall Street with a new BlackRock-backed stock exchange

Texas is coming for Wall Street with a new BlackRock-backed stock exchange
  • PublishedJune 7, 2024

Texas’ famous longhorns are coming for Wall Street’s bulls.

A new national stock exchange, based in Dallas, and backed by Wall Street heavyweights like BlackRock and Citadel Securities, is looking to take on the world-famous New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

The newly formed TXSE Group announced its plans to file for registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission later this year. The group is backed by more than two dozen investors with $120 million in funding – that makes it the most well-capitalized exchange entrant to even file with the SEC.

“We’re thrilled to bring to fruition the long-held vision for a national stock exchange in Texas,” TXSE Group founder and CEO James Lee said in a statement on Wednesday. “Texas and the other states in the southeast quadrant have become economic powerhouses. Combined with the demand we are seeing from investors and corporations for expanded alternatives to trade and list equities, this is an opportune time to build a major, national stock exchange in Texas.”

The group said it was hoping to benefit from the more than 5,200 private equity-sponsored companies in the region that may want to go public.

Lee told The Wall Street Journal that the group hopes to officially launch its exchange in 2026.

The problem with going public

America has lost half its public companies since the 1990s. Back in 1996, there were 8,000 companies on US exchanges. Today that count has dropped by more than 50% to just 3,700, according to data from the Center for Research in Security Prices.

It’s not that America has half as many companies as 30 years ago – it’s that companies are increasingly staying private, largely outside the scrutiny of the public eye and markets.

Intensified reporting requirements, higher litigation expenses, costly regulations, overbearing board governance, shareholder activism, heightened public scrutiny and the pressure of quarterly earnings have driven companies away from public markets.

There are now about five times as many private equity-backed firms in the US as there are publicly held companies, according to economists at Wells Fargo.

The trend has been growing for some time. In 1999, the average US technology firm transitioned to the public markets after four years, Wells Fargo research shows. By 2019, that figure increased to 11 years.

“Companies that remain private can avoid the burden and cost of regulatory requirements and focus on long-term strategic plans,” they wrote.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, expressed worry about the changes in his annual shareholder letter in April. “This trend is serious,” he wrote. “We really need to consider: Is this the outcome we want?”

The TXSE Group said in a press release on Wednesday that it hopes to help relieve some of that burden.

“TXSE’s planned launch comes as changes in the equity markets provide an opportunity for greater alignment and more competition,” they wrote. “Corporate issuers and exchange-traded product sponsors are demanding more stability and predictability around listing standards and associated costs. TXSE intends to expand access to US capital markets for all investors, while providing greater access and alignment for public companies and those seeking access to public capital.”

While the most popular exchanges in the US are located in New York City, there are about 13 stock exchanges around the country including in Philadelphia and Miami.

This exchange, said Lee, would mostly function to list businesses located in Texas and the southeast quadrant of the United States.


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