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Slack’s Direct Listing Leaves Wall Street Fighting for Fees

June 14, 2019, 10:33 AM

Wall Street had good reason to be anxious last year when music streaming company Spotify Technology SA did a so-called direct listing, putting shares on the market without opting for a traditional initial public offering.

Underwriting and advising on IPOs are among the biggest fee generators for the biggest banks, and it suddenly looked like companies had a new, cheaper alternative. Now another hot tech company, Slack Technologies Inc., is giving a direct listing a try on June 20. Wall Street is about to find out how afraid it should be.

Illustration: Charlotte Pollet for Bloomberg Businessweek

A direct listing differs from an IPO in ...