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About Arizona Stock Exchange
The Arizona Stock Exchange (AZX), an electronically enabled stock exchange for carrying out eTrading after usual stock market hours, was founded by Steve Wunsch, a former Kidder Peabody Vice President. Founded in 1990 as Wunsch Auction Systems, the headquarters of the company was based in New York. The technology trading center was originally based in Minnesota and built and run by a group of former Cray Research Supercomputer technologists that included Christopher Moran, Gray Lorig, Kerry Yndestad and Paul Sustman.
In early 1992 the company was recast as AZX or the Arizona Stock Exchange and both the headquarters and technology trading center were moved to Phoenix, Arizona.
Restricted to use by large institutional users only, participants could conduct screen based trades of equity and other products through either direct dial-up or internet access. The Arizona Stock Exchange was structured as a proprietary "Single Price" electronic call market. Unique to the Arizona Stock Exchange was the ability to discover the best or "single" price for a stock during the auction based upon supply and demand utilizing both an open book and reserve book of equity orders. Operating under a de minimis exemption, it was not required to be registered or regulated as a stock exchange with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The general philosophy behind the Arizona Stock Exchange was to let natural buyers and sellers of equities trade directly with one another without intermediation by a broker or dealer. The AZX sought to reduce transaction costs for its participants, remove volatility from the market and determine more robust and fair pricing for equities traded.
While the idea behind AZX was ahead of its time in the 1990s and anticipated the more successful electronic communication networks such as Archipelago, it had to close down in October 2001, due to lack of volume.