A former lawyer has helped launch the first-ever minority-owned stock exchange in the history of America.
The Dream Exchange will focus on small business capital formation and diversity using the power of the American investing public. there has never before been a majority Black-owned stock exchange in the 230-year history of U.S. stock exchanges.
The new stock exchange will allow investors to empower innovators and emerging businesses in a way that has never been done before.
“The Dream Exchange is a real solution to the long-term systemic issues plaguing our country by providing a marketplace where money flows to any and all organizations that help us to survive better as a society,” said former attorney Joe Cecala, who founded the exchange in partnership with Cadiz Capital Holding L.L.C., a minority-owned private equity firm.
Cecala credits his legal career for learning more about investing and driving him on a path to create his company.
“Early in my legal career, I learned how stock exchanges ‘hunt’ for liquidity because I was the lawyer for the founders of Archipelago, one of the first and the biggest electronic stock exchanges in the world,” Cecala told Black Enterprise.
“Archipelago grew into what the world has come to know today as the New York Stock Exchange. Because of my experience in understanding the formation of the world’s greatest electronic stock exchange, I learned how a stock exchange creates and controls liquidity in the markets.”
“After years of research, I discovered that the structure of the US capital markets and the current stock exchanges favor only the largest transactions with celebrity companies, Cercala said. “My research showed that, prior to Archipelago, the overwhelming majority of IPO’s were $50.0 million and under! By 2004, small capital IPO’s had all but disappeared. After years of working with minority businesses, I realized as well that minority businesses were nearly absent from all IPO and public company listings,” Cecala said.
Additionally, the Dream Exchange has been educating members of Congress on the need for venture securities and how best to protect capital markets and create opportunities to grow small businesses in the post-COVID environment.
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