Plans to turn the 213-year-old New York Stock
Exchange into a publicly traded company, via a merger with the
ECN Archipelago, may be causing member infighting and splashy
headlines full of second-rate intrigue and disingenuous
politics. But don't be distracted. The real story is taking
place beneath the surface, as the deal is also causing ripples
in the markets for hedge fund shareholders in ECNs, including
many who have made big profits already. Others may be plotting
bigger gains yet - and ripples of their own.
Just follow the money. Archipelago Holdings saw its stock
shoot from a low of $11.50 to a high of $35.50 in early May.
That was surely a welcome occurrence for hedge funds like
Timothy Barakett's Atticus Capital, a $5 billion fund group,
which holds some 2.4 million shares in the ECN. At the recent
$35.50 price, the value of the Atticus stake in Archipelago