Aequitas gets green light for new stock exchange to challenge TSX

Aequitas Innovations Inc. received approval from the Ontario Securities Commission to launch a new stock exchange aimed at challenging the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Ontario regulator said the exchange, which will be called the Aequitas NEO Exchange, can start operating on March 1st, 2015.

Aequitas has some heavyweight backers, including Barclays plc, Bank of Canada, OMERS Capital Markets, CI Financial Corp, and IGM Financial Inc.

Jos Schmitt, President and CEO of Aequitas NEO Exchange, said:

“We are thrilled to receive approval from the OSC to move forward and launch the Aequitas NEO Exchange. We appreciate the careful review undertaken by the OSC. We are now in a position to help promote confidence and build an exchange of the future using a a bold new blueprint that puts investors, companies and their dealers first.”

Jos Schmitt, Aequitas

Mr. Schmitt says the stock market is a lot like water. When it is clear, investors and issuers feel confident about diving in. When it is murky, they don’t trust it.

According to Aequitas, it is entering the industry to help long-term investors and issuers who are fed up with the burdens of lack of liquidity, expensive data and predatory trading. The company says trading floors have become so contaminated by these trends that a market has opened up for those seeking transparent and fair trading.

Greg Mills, Chairman, Aequitas Innovations and Head, Global Equities, RBC Capital Markets, said:

“Aequitas’ vision is to build an exchange that facilitates the efficient allocation of capital between companies and investors. We have re-mutualized the exchange business with all core users involved to ensure we always stay true to our vision. Canadians deserve a stock market they can believe in.

Aequitas Innovations is owned by a wide range of market participants, including public companies, institutional investors, and dealers, with majority control by public companies and institutional investors. This mix, it claims, will make sure that the interests of all stakeholders are represented. It adds that robust mechanisms are in place to address conflicts of interest.

Video – The Aequitas NEO Exchange