07.27.2016
By Rob Daly

Exchange Medallions Keep Nasdaq Busy

Interest in its recently completed International Securities Exchange acquisition and the future role of blockchain within the company dominated questions during Nasdaq’s second-quarter earnings call.

Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld started the call noting that Nasdaq has managed to maintain the pre-acquisition markets share across its six options exchanges as well as reaching 20% of the announced $40 million in run-rate synergies since the deal closed in late June.

He attributes the approximate 40% market share to recent pricing changes Nasdaq instituted recently.

Bob Greifeld, Nasdaq

Bob Greifeld, Nasdaq

“Under Tom Wittman’s leadership, we’ve done some clever things with pricing,” Greifeld added. “Without those moves, I don’t think we could have maintained the share we have.”

He continued stating that Nasdaq plans to manage and maintain all of its options exchange medallions. However, what Nasdaq plans to do with the equities exchange medallion remains up in the air.

“We certainly have more than enough” exchange medallions, said Greifeld. “We do not have an answer at this point. But we know that they are an asset and would like to come up with a plan on how to monetize those assets.”

Regarding blockchain, Nasdaq plans to integrate the technology into its Nasdaq Financial Framework product architecture, which it should roll out before the end of the year.

“I think that the deep integration of blockchain technology into core technology is fundemental, and we are on that mission,” said Greifeld.

However, he does not believe offering blockchain technology on its own would be a viable business.

“I will tie in what Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said back in the dot.com days, ‘ It’s a feature, not a company,’” noted Greifeld. “Blockchain is another method for storing data and it needs to be integrated into solutions within the construct of the ecosystems in which we live.”

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