While working at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the global electronic trading team led by Brad Katsuyama, Ronan Ryan, John Schwall, and Rob Park discovered an uneven playing field in the stock market. Seeing that inequality, they took on the challenge to level the playing field for long-term investors such as mutual funds and pension funds.
Ultimately, the team decided that the best way to change the system was to build a new exchange from scratch, and departed RBC to build IEX. IEX debuted in 2013, and launched as a national stock exchange in 2016. To this day, IEX remains true to its original mission to build fairer markets, and is active in developing innovative technology to solve complex market structure problems.
The story behind the founding of IEX was chronicled in Michael Lewis’ 2014 book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.