The hero of Michael Lewis' book 'Flash Boys' wants to take on the New York Stock Exchange

IEX Group, the stock trading venue at the center of Michael Lewis’ book ‘Flash Boys’ has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a stock exchange.

The filing was published on the SEC website on Wednesday.

The conversion into an exchange has long been in the works, with IEX filing its first draft of paperwork a year ago.

The upside to becoming an exchange is that IEX will be part of what is called the National Market System. That means investors will have to route their orders to the exchange if it has the best price for a stock. Investors are under no obligation to trade with IEX at present.

IEX, and chief executive Brad Katsuyama, were the heroes of ‘Flash Boys’, which takes aim at high-frequency trading firms Lewis said had ripped off ordinary investors.

The stock trading venue uses what it calls a “speed bump” to try and level the playing field between firms that rely on super-fast trading and traditional institutional and retail investors.

Katsuyama told Dani Burger and Jeremy Kahn at Bloomberg: “The best way to show the difference between what we think an exchange should be doing and what they currently are is to be one ourselves.”

“We want to compete directly with NYSE.”

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