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Stock market coalition impressed during visit to Texas Governors Mansion

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Gov. Greg Abbott said officials from the Nasdaq and other major stock exchanges he met on Friday afternoon at the Governors Mansion were impressed with what Texas could offer as a base for data center operations powering the daily Wall Streets transactions.

They want to move at a fairly fast speed, Abbott said, describing the conversation as engaging and substantive.

The group meeting with Abbott is called the Coalition to prevent taxation of retirement savings. It includes the Nasdaq, CBOE Global Markets, Citadel Securities, data center operator Equinix, IEX, Membership Exchange, owner of New York Stock Exchange Intercontinental Exchange, TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., Virtu Financial and UBS.

Abbott said the group said a request for proposal process would begin before exchanges and companies make a decision on whether to move the electronic trading infrastructure now hosted in New Jersey. Officials from Virginia, North Carolina and Illinois have also reportedly held talks with the coalition.

There are additional steps to take, and we look forward to continuing to work every step of the way, Abbott said.

Abbott said the exchanges are looking at Dallas-Fort Worth for a potential transfer.

Our ability to expand and strengthen the capacity that would meet their needs [in D-FW] is very easy to accommodate, he says.

Coalition spokespersons were not immediately available for comment.

If the major stock exchanges move forward, the move will be prompted by looming concerns over a proposed financial transactions tax in New Jersey. But Abbott said meeting attendees, the Nasdaq in particular, were also interested in an environment that would allow for a more sustainable operating model, which he believes Texas is providing.

The states’ abundance of renewable energy, its independent power grid, and the cost of cheap electricity compared to New Jersey have been discussed with the group, Abbott said. Tech giants Facebook and Google have already taken advantage of Texas’ energy advantage, having recently invested in large data centers in North Texas.

The New York Stock Exchange was not present at the Friday meeting, Abbott said. He said he spoke separately with his leaders. During a recent Dallas Regional Chamber event, NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said there were more Texas-based publicly traded companies listed on its stock exchange than New York.

Texas would truly be the centerpiece of the financial industry for this century, Abbott said of the talks. And that would lead to high paying jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Nasdaq Inc. is considering moving its business out of New Jersey if a proposal to tax financial transactions in the state becomes law.

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