September 28, 2020

Volume X, Number 272

September 25, 2020

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Welcome to Fight Club - New Securities Exchange Approved by SEC

“Welcome to Fight Club.”[FN1] Like the fighters in Fight Club, the Members Exchange (MEMX), a new fighter has entered the ring of nationally recognized securities exchanges fighting for volume. MEMX is a new exchange registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that is backed by major Wall Street firms that will compete with a number of securities exchanges including, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. MEMX Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Kellner said in a statement, “We are excited to earn SEC approval in this challenging environment and appreciate the [SEC]’s thoughtful and timely review of our application.”[FN2]

MEMX is an “innovative and customer-centric company, focused on creating and promoting a fair, transparent, and efficient market experience for all investors.”[FN3] MEMX will enter the exchange fight club to compete with 13 other U.S. securities exchanges. MEMX founders include Bank of America Corp, Citadel Securities, Charles Schwab Corp., E*Trade Financial Corp., Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, Jane Street Capital, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade Holdings Corp., UBS, and Virtu Financial. MEMX expects to launch later this year.

[FN1] Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club the novel; see also David Fincher and Jim Uhls, Fight Club the movie.

[FN2] Members Exchange Receives SEC Approval to Operate U.S. Securities Exchange (May 5, 2020), available at: A copy of the MEMX application filed with the SEC is available at:

[FN3] Id

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in CaliforniaNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 132


About this Author


Richard Levin brings his experience as a senior legal and compliance officer on Wall Street and in London to bear in advising clients on corporate, securities and regulatory issues. A problem-solver by nature, his practice focuses on helping financial services and technology (FinTech) clients identify and address regulatory issues as they build their businesses.  

The FinTech sector is experiencing rapid changes that are producing innovative new technologies: digital currencies, blockchain technology, peer to peer lending, robo advisors, crowdfunding portals, and...

Stephen A. Rutenberg Shareholder Polsinelli New York Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Bankruptcy Litigation Capital Markets ,Commercial Lending ,Debt and Claims Trading, Financial Services, Insolvency, Financial Technology FinTech and Regulation

Stephen Rutenberg’s practice focuses on the intersection of special situations investing and FinTech including cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. 

A significant component of Stephen’s practice relates to his work in the distressed debt market, representing clients in the purchase and sale of loans and securities of distressed and bankrupt companies. Recent representations include advising on the purchase, sale and financing of bankruptcy trade claims in several major chapter 11 cases, including Lehman Brothers, and the MF Global and Icelandic bank liquidations. He works with all types of clients, specifically, asset managers, hedge funds, private equity firms, and global financial institutions that seek him out for his legal understanding, business sense, responsiveness, and care for client needs. 

Together with the other lawyers in Polsinelli’s renowned FinTech and Regulation practice, Stephen represents, investors, issuers and underwriters looking for market leading perspectives,  on cutting edge utilization of blockchain technology including investing in cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICO’s). 

Stephen has experience with general financings, lending, and other corporate transactions. He has also counseled clients in the negotiation of total return swaps, credit default swaps, and other structures for the purchase and/or financing of loan and claim portfolios as well as formation and structuring work for startup companies and funds.

Admitted to practice in New York and as a solicitor in England and Wales, Stephen has significant experience advising on cross-border distressed trading matters and is recognized for this in the 2016 edition of IFLR1000as a Rising Star. In February 2017, Stephen received the UJA-Federation of New York’s James H. Fogelson Emerging Leadership Award for his contributions to the New York legal and philanthropic communities. Stephen is recognized as a thought leader frequently writing and speaking on the FinTech and distressed loan trading.