Last week, private equity firm Apollo Management announced that it would sell shares of itself on a private stock exchange run by Goldman Sachs
. Because the exchange is closed to most investors, companies listing on it don't have to comply with various government regulations, which they would if they were to list on, say, the New York Stock Exchange. Considering all of the headaches associated with being a public company these days, this option may look increasingly appealing for companies looking for an alternative way to raise money and give its owners liquidity. It's not surprising, then, that many of the big name investment banks, including Citigroup, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, and Morgan Stanley are all rushing to build out their own private, electronic stock exchanges
. The question, however, is whether or not these various exchanges will be compatible or whether they'll be islands, with little inter-exchange trading. If they're the former, then a robust alternative market could flourish. If it's the latter, then the appeal to both traders and companies is likely to be limited.