There’s a perq war brewing between the two biggest US stock exchanges — and Nasdaq wants to take the fight outside.
The tech-heavy stock index on Thursday unveiled a 2,100-square-foot, outdoor terrace with spectacular views of Times Square, where visiting Silicon Valley executives will be able to hobnob, entertain clients and even ring ceremonial opening and closing bells for the market.
The breezy, 10th-floor terrace at the former Condé Nast building in Midtown Manhattan is being positioned as a challenger to the iconic balcony overlooking the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange downtown, where company execs have been ringing the bell for more than a century.
Until now, Nasdaq has been forced to stage its bell-ringing events at its “MarketSite” TV studios on the building’s first and second floors, from where CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and “Fast Money” are broadcast.
“We do a lot of great events on MarketSite, but [clients] want to do bigger events,” Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told The Post in an exclusive interview.
Nasdaq’s new overlook is part of a 43,000-square-foot “Client Experience Center” that will house three bars and a screening room for corporate parties and presentations — and space to fit all of Nasdaq’s 7,000 employees within the next two years.
“Being in Times Square is actually a huge asset for us,” Friedman said. “You can enjoy being here having all this space without necessarily being on the street.”
Wall Street’s two biggest exchanges have been locked in an increasingly elaborate perq war as tech giants like Uber, WeWork and Peter Thiel-backed Palantir are expected to make 2019 the biggest year ever for initial public offerings, exceeding the $107.9 billion raised in 1999, according to Dealogic.
This year, Nasdaq landed the hotly anticipated IPO for Lyft, which raised more than $2.2 billion — a hefty sum from which the exchange got a cut.
Other hot companies, however — Uber, Pinterest and Slack, to name three — have since said they’re headed to NYSE.