Nasdaq partners with major banks to spin out trading platform for pre-IPO stocks


Nasdaq Inc on Tuesday partnered with big U.S. banks, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, to separate its platform that allows people to trade in shares of private companies, which have seen strong interest from investors seeking lofty returns on investments.

Since interest rates were slashed to near-zero across the globe at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, investors have sought out other sources of yield, making investments in private entities an attractive option.

As part of the deal, Nasdaq Private Market will become a standalone, independent company that will receive investments from SVB Financial Group, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, and Morgan Stanley, the stock exchange operator said on Tuesday.

Financial terms of the venture were not disclosed.

The platform will manage private company stock transactions such as tender offers, auctions and investor block trades, Nasdaq said.

A number of companies, including BlackRock Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, are looking to give their clients a wider access to investing in private companies.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said last month in an investor presentation that it was pushing more aggressively into private market investments, which recorded an 18% growth last year, twice the rate of the broader industry.

In February, JPMorgan invested in fintech startup Zanbato in an effort to create a presence in private stock trading.

Nasdaq Private Market, which was established in 2014, will retain its core operating teams, Nasdaq said, and will maintain its presence in New York and San Francisco.


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