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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The New York Stock Exchange yesterday laid the formal groundwork for letting companies raise capital as part of direct listings.

Why it matters: This could upend the traditional IPO market, which has relied on Wall Street banks to set pricing terms.

Background: We first discussed the possibility of hybrid listings back in June, in preparation of Slack's direct listing (through which the company itself raised no money). Three months later we broke news on how a group of Silicon Valley investors and attorneys were hosting an invite-only meeting to gain further support for hybrid listings, arguing that the normal IPO process too often benefits bank clients at the expense of issuers.

What's new: NYSE's proposal would let both the company and company insiders sell stock at listing, so long as the company sells at least $250 million worth of shares. There are no new lockup requirements.

  • An exchange spokesperson writes: "This represents the next step in the development of the Direct Listing, which the NYSE pioneered with Spotify in 2018 and Slack earlier this year."

What's next: The filing kicks off a public comment period, after which NYSE's plan will be approved or rejected. The Nasdaq also has said that it's working with the SEC on a direct listing plan.

Go deeper: Creating the perfect IPO

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Hundreds of Biden staffers receive COVID vaccine

Screenshots of an email inviting White House staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, obtained by Alayna Treene/Axios

A week into the job, President Biden's White House medical team has administered the coronavirus vaccine to several hundred staffers — and aims to vaccinate all in-person staff over the next few weeks, officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: The new administration is ramping up steps to protect President Biden and all staff working inside the White House complex. The administration is also requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The Leon Black clock strikes midnight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Leon Black is "retiring" as CEO of Apollo Global Management, the alternative investment giant he has led since co-founding it in 1990. But he is not making a full break, as Black will remain chair of Apollo's board of directors.

Why it matters: This is the culmination of 18 months of head-in-the-sand obfuscation of Black's dealings with Jeffrey Epstein.

Reddit traders look to pummel Wall Street's old guard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Reddit traders are taking on Wall Street pros at their own game with this basic mantra: Stocks will always go up.

Why it matters: Their trades — egged on in Reddit threads — have played a role in historic market activity in recent days.