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Could Members Exchange Up-End Nasdaq and NYSE?

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A new stock exchange is springing up to compete with the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In total, nine organizations have joined together to form the Members Exchange, MEMX. These include retail brokerages, banks, financial services firms, and market makers: Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC), Charles Schwab (SCHW), Citadel, ETRADE (ETFC), Fidelity, Morgan Stanley (MS), TD Ameritrade (AMTD), UBS Group (UBS), and high-frequency trader Virtu Financial (VIRT). MEMX will be owned and operated solely by its founding members, and intends to cater to retail and institutional investors. MEMX is preparing to file an application with the SEC for final approval.

MEMX is being founded to increase competition, improve efficiency, and reduce cost. The cost of trades for individual investors should also drop. Historically, stock exchanges were self-regulated, not-for-profit entities owned by their broker members. These financial utilities were essentially in helping U.S. companies raise capital. By the 1990s, the exchanges started becoming companies, eventually listing themselves. Members Exchange could be a catalyst for stock exchanges to return to its roots. The world of U.S. stock trading can be summed up into three major exchanges, one independent exchange, and a plethora of alternative-trading systems and dark pools. Can MEMX make a dent? Two of the MEMX members are Virtu and Citadel, who control a large piece of order flow in U.S. stock markets.

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Progetto Iride Issues Inaugural Tender for Joint PE Investment

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Progetto Iride, translated in English to Project Iris, is an investor group of five Italian pension funds. Progetto Iride issued an RFP for a private equity manager for a joint portfolio worth around €216 million.

The funds under Progetto Iride have €6,122,872,593 in assets as of December 31, 2018.

The five constituents of Progetto Iride are Foncer (€28 million allocation), Fondenergia (€72 million allocation), Fondo Gomma Plastica (€46 million allocation), Pegaso (€30 million allocation), and Previmoda (€39 million allocation).

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Flexstone, Hostplus Initiate U.S. Private Equity Program

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Australia-based superannuation fund Hostplus appointed Flexstone Partners to run a U.S. private equity emerging managers program. Flexstone Partners is owned by Natixis Investment Managers. The emerging managers program will see Flexstone Partners invest over the next three years in the first, second or third funds of U.S. middle-market private equity managers on behalf of the industry superannuation fund.

Hostplus is the industry superannuation fund for those who live and love Australian hospitality, tourism, recreation, and sport.

Flexstone Partners was formed in 2005 and is the combined entity of Caspian Private Equity, Euro-Private Equity France, Euro-Private Equity Swiss, and Eagle Asia Partners.

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Trump to Nominate Stephen Moore to Federal Reserve Board

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U.S. President Trump plans to nominate Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board. Moore is currently a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He served as a Senior Economic Advisor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. In 1987, Moore was Research Director of U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Privatization Commission. Moore also served as a Fellow at the Cato Institute and was a Senior Economist under the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee under Chairman Dick Armey of Texas

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