Exchange change

Entrepreneur Eric Ries wants to bring in a new kind of stock exchange — one based on long-term results.

A totally new kind of stock exchange could see the light of day if a Silicon Valley startup has its way, reports Quartz. The new exchange, to be called the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), would be designed to reward long-term shareholding rather than quick trades and fast bucks.

Entrepreneur and author Eric Ries will seek approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the LTSE, but does not say when. He sits on money from notables such as venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and tech publisher Tim O’Reilly; former New York Stock Exchange CFO Amy Butte acts as an adviser.

US technology startups have long wanted to reduce the pressure that high-frequency trading, profit-seeking activism and the distortions of quarterly reports exert on companies. For example, Facebook tried to minimize the control of investment bankers in its 2012 initial public offering. Many companies have simply refused to go public to avoid the short-term pressure of financial markets. “There’s simply a recognition practically every day,” Ries told Quartz, “that this is a huge problem that needs solving, and that, especially as it manifests itself in Silicon Valley where I’m based, problems here are getting worse and worse.”

Three key elements will distinguish the future LTSE: a) shareholder votes will be proportionately tied to the length of time an investor has held his shares; b) executive pay will be linked to the business’s long-term performance; c) disclosure requirements will give companies knowledge of who their investors are and investors, knowledge of the investments the company is making.