BY Theodora Aidoo, 8:30am July 23, 2020,

Finally the first Black-owned stock exchange in U.S. history opens

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Historically, the stock market has delivered generous returns to investors over time and a former lawyer has conceived the idea to bridge the racial gap by creating an avenue for the black community to invest and create generational wealth. He has created the first Black and minority-owned stock exchange in U.S history.

Former attorney Joe Cecala in partnership with Cadiz Capital Holding L.L.C., a minority-owned private equity firm founded “The Dream Exchange”, a stock exchange company that focuses on small business capital formation and diversity using the power of the American investing public.

The platform aims to provide a space to match small and emerging businesses at an early stage with investors to generate more wealth creation for underserved communities. The history-making founder Cecala said his legal career afforded him the opportunity to learn more about investing thus leading to the creation of his company.

In an interview with Black Enterprise, he revealed that early in his legal career, he learned how stock exchanges ‘hunt’ for liquidity because he was the lawyer for the founders of Archipelago, one of the first and the biggest electronic stock exchanges in the world.

According to him, 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, he’d discovered that the structure of the US capital markets and the current stock exchanges favour only the largest transactions with celebrity companies. “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 believes that the importance of a Black-owned stock exchange cannot be understated. Research from the SEC’s IPO task force shows that 92% of all jobs are created after a company goes public, he said.

“In the 230-year history of stock exchanges in America only one Black-owned firm has made it to the New York Stock Exchange and there has never been a Black-owned stock exchange. Without access to public markets, any sector of society absent will most certainly suffer economically. This is the importance of having a channel for access to the public markets in America.”

By launching the Dream Exchange, Cecala hopes that he is creating a space that will allow more people of color to get into investing while promoting black and minority-owned businesses to investors.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: July 23, 2020


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