Stock Exchanges at the Crossroads

80 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2005 Last revised: 1 Jun 2015

See all articles by Andreas Martin Fleckner

Andreas Martin Fleckner

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Law; Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law


One of the foremost icons of capitalism is at a crossroads: the stock exchange. Ever since the first days of organized trading, stock exchanges had been owned and managed by their traders. Now, half a millennium later, those days are over. All of a sudden, stock exchanges are compelled to abandon their traditional structure, invite outside investors, and become publicly traded corporations (a process known as "demutualization"). In the future, everyone will be able to own a piece of a stock exchange. The shares of stock exchanges will be traded on stock exchanges, like for any large firm. This paper sketches the dynamic environment of organized trading, identifies the reasons for the transformation of stock exchanges into publicly traded companies, and addresses the regulatory concerns raised by this development.

Keywords: stock exchange, securities trading, self-regulation, SRO, demutualization, conflicts of interest, self-listing

JEL Classification: D23, G15, G18, G28, G32, G38, K22, L33

Suggested Citation

Fleckner, Andreas Martin, Stock Exchanges at the Crossroads. Fordham Law Review, Vol. 74, pp. 2541-2620, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Andreas Martin Fleckner (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Law ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, D-10099

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law ( email )

Mittelweg 187
Hamburg, 20148

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