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. The Nasdaq Story >

Nasdaq's Story

The Nasdaq of today is the result of a carefully orchestrated plan to diversify our business model. Our transformation was driven by our ability to create opportunities in areas adjacent to our core businesses--many of which are non-transaction based and rooted in innovative technology.

Our Heritage

The Evolution of Nasdaq


Nasdaq Rich HeritageNasdaq has evolved dramatically from its beginnings in 1971 as primarily a U.S.-based equities exchange.

Along the way, we transformed the world’s capital markets by engineering precedent-setting acquisitions, achieving groundbreaking progress, and empowering people to think differently and businesses to compete more effectively.

Rich History


Although today’s Nasdaq story began more than 40 years ago, it contains a rich history of the creation of financial and capital marketplaces throughout the world. As the company has grown, so has its heritage. With the inclusion of several stock exchanges in the United States and Europe, Nasdaq’s heritage includes the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the first exchange established in the U.S. in 1790, the Copenhagen Exchange created in 1808, as well as the Boston Exchanged launched in 1834.

Throughout all the historic milestones and groundbreaking advances that have occurred, our commitment to two core principles – evolution and transformation – is as true today as it was then.

Global Ventures


Our celebrated global history of delivering the most innovative technology solutions has transformed capital markets around the world. We have grown into a diversified financial technology, trading and information services provider to the capital markets, with more than 3,500 colleagues serving businesses and investors from over 50 offices in 26 countries across six continents.

We now have tens of thousands of diverse indexes that cross industry sectors, and cover asset classes spanning equities, options, futures, fixed-income, commodities, derivatives and structured products, with support being provided for a trade’s entire lifecycle. The results are global exchanges that currently list more than 3,700 companies, representing more than $U.S. 10.0 trillion and approximately 18,000 corporate clients.

In 2013, we gained powerful momentum with our landmark acquisition of Thomson Reuters’ investor relations, public relations and Multimedia Solutions businesses. The acquisition helped create a global offering that not only combines marketing, communications and investor relations functions but also contributes to our established record of industry firsts. Growth to the company continued to accelerate that year when we acquired eSpeed, the leading provider of electronic trading of U.S. Treasury Securities.  

Our transformation has deep roots in a team of driven finance, technology and thought leadership experts who skillfully guide clients – from individuals and organizations to economies worldwide – to more informed trading, investment and valuation decisions; stronger business operations; and maximum performance.

We Were the First


Beginning in 1971, Nasdaq first established itself as a transformational entity of innovations in the capital markets. Among the many Nasdaq firsts are its initial invention of electronic trading and the modern IPO.

Along this journey, we have set the standard for innovation for global exchanges both in the modern era and also by virtue of our integrated heritage with venerable institutions such as the Philadelphia and Copenhagen stock exchanges. Moving forward into the 21st Century, we are continuing our remarkable legacy of industry firsts. 

YearEvents
2013
  • First technology provider to offer cloud-based storage for regulatory records retention 
  • First to offer long-haul wireless connectivity using microwave technology 
  • Basis for first cross-border Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) listed in China – the Guotai 
  • NASDAQ-100 ETF First ETF-listing exchange to launch a competitive payment for a market-making program – the NASDAQ Market Quality Program
2012
  • First to offer a financial services-specific solution for data and infrastructure management in the cloud
  • First U.S. exchange to apply FPGA technology to market-data distribution
  • First North American exchange accepted into the United Nations Global Compact
2011
  • First multi-asset risk management clearing platform in Europe
2010
  • First U.S. equity trading platform with a price-size priority model, which rewards size and liquidity – PSX 
  • First to offer data on demand First Green Exchange in the world (Helsinki)
2008
  • First to launch an affinity program for listed companies – NASDAQ OMX Advantage
2005
  • First to create the world’s highest initial listing standards – NASDAQ Global Select Market
2004
  • First to offer dual listing
  • First exchange in Europe to accept remote members
2003
  • First to own business solutions for listings
2002
  • First to offer a Market Intelligence Desk for listings
2001
  • First U.S. exchange to meet ISO 9001 standards
1997
  • First to offer its listed companies a 24/7 intelligence website – NASDAQ Online
  • First Baltic exchange to introduce continuous trading at variable prices – Riga Stock Exchange
1996
  • First to launch a financial website – www.nasdaq.com
1995
  • First to sell market technology to Asia and Hong Kong
  • First securities trading session in Latvia’s history organized by Riga Stock Exchange
  • First securities issue registered and settlement operation by Latvian Central Depository
1993
  • First U.S. depth-of-book transparency with NQDS (Level 2 data)
1991
  • First to sell its technology to power other exchanges
  • First integrated derivatives trading and clearing system
1989
  • First exchange to support Silicon Valley Innovators
1987
  • Separates from National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)
1971
  • First to invent electronic trading and the modern IPO – NASDAQ
1808
  • First exchange in the Nordics – Copenhagen Exchange
1790
  • First exchange in the U.S. – Philadelphia Stock Exchange
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