1) How did you get started working in exchanges?
During my many interim assignments in Paris in 1990, I was offered the position of Personal Assistant to the Senior Vice President of the International Relations of the NYSE. This was my first employment in this industry. This interim assignment led to a permanent contract. I then discovered the FIBV, the Fédération Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs, of which the NYSE was a member. Upon hearing of the NYSE office closing in Paris in 1998, the FIBV Secretary General contacted me asking if I would be interested in joining his team. That is how I started working with Exchanges. I was first employed as a Personal Assistant to the CEO (my primary qualification), and over time my role evolved into supporting the organisation with the management of its events and memberships.
2) How has WFE changed over the past 25 years?
Many changes have occurred during my 25-year tenure.
When I joined in 1998, the Federation was composed of 52 Members. The Board, which was then composed of 14 members, split across three time zones that same year. In 2001 the FIBV was renamed the World Federation of Exchanges, and the following year the number of Board members was increased to 15, and then to 18 in 2017.
The move of the WFE’s headquarter from Paris to London in 2014 was the greatest change during all these years.
To date, the Federation comprises 72 members. It should be noted that the mergers began in 2001 with the Spanish Exchanges and the Canadian exchanges. From 2001 to 2019, the total of exchanges withdrawn after mergers amounted to approximately 24. Today the total of market infrastructures we represent is more than 250.
The 2020 pandemic situation also played an important role in the changes to the federation in introducing the virtual landscape and the WFE had an important role in supporting members through that. All physical events were affected and replaced by virtual meetings (except the 2020 General Assembly which was cancelled). Even new applications for membership were processed virtually and, as a result, four new members joined the Federation during the pandemic period.
3) What is the greatest challenge and opportunity you have faced?
One of the greatest challenges was the move to London in 2014 and the subsequent six months when we worked to maintain the activity of the Federation (Board and Working Committee meetings, IOMA conference as well as all administrative tasks) even as we hired new colleagues. The significant assistance and understanding of our members during that period was greatly appreciated.
Another challenge was to adapt to new technologies during the pandemic period which gave my colleagues and I the realisation that nothing is insurmountable. This adventure gave me the opportunity to meet and work with great people and to familiarise myself with new technologies.
4) What does your day look like at the WFE? What’s the part you like the most?
As the first point of contact for WFE members, I enjoy specifically the long-lasting relationship I have with them. My daily work is very diverse, from organizing federation meetings to updating various websites, and managing membership applications from new members. Assisting my colleagues in the organization and publication of their meetings and video conferences remains a significant task and one that is close to my heart.
5) What have you enjoyed so much that has secured your long tenure?
The exclusion of the word routine is one of the key reasons that I have worked here for so long, coupled with the good relationship shared with all our members around the world and with my WFE colleagues. Appreciating and enjoying your job is key to a long tenure.
6) What are your plans for the next 25 years?
No idea. I cannot plan for far in advance! My preferred quote is: Enjoy every day as if it was your last day! La vie est belle.
The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.