SIX’s Acquisition of BME Highlights the Increased Importance of Scale and Free Market Access
The pandemic has brought many changes to the way we work. In your view, what changes are here to stay that will shape the workplace of the future?
Almost overnight, we had to switch to digital collaboration. SIX was in the middle of the bidding process for BME. This was a big challenge, which we successfully mastered. In the future, international collaboration will be easier, teams will no longer have to travel so much and will work together efficiently and successfully regardless of their location. However, digital collaboration will never replace physical collaboration, but it will complement it.
What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for your exchange in the year ahead?
Essentially, I see three main topics: the ongoing consolidation of our market, international market access and digitalisation. As we all know, our business is a business of scale. Size is crucial. This is a challenge for us, but also an opportunity, which we have seized for the first time to this extent with the acquisition of BME. International competition is based on free market access, which is particularly important in our industry. Accordingly, I regret the EU's political decision to deny the Swiss stock exchange equivalence. When political aspects become more important than economic ones, thatones that is a negative tendency. Last but not least, digitalisation. This is not a new development, but the pace has increased massively and has the potential to completely reshape our market. Here, too, SIX has taken the lead and created the world's first fully regulated digital exchange, the SDX.
What was your most memorable moment this year as a leader?
There are countless examples. I would like to mention the demanding work of integrating BME and SIX. Not only do economic and cultural factors play a role, but most of the integration was carried out purely digitally. This demands a lot from the teams and the leaders. The fact that the integration was nevertheless completed successfully is very remarkable for me.
What are three key industry themes you will be focused on in 2022?
Listing: In the listing space we will continue to develop our offering for companies that want to raise capital, so public markets can act as an efficient and robust source to finance growth and wealth. With “Sparks” we launched a new segment for SMEs on SIX Swiss Exchange, and we have BME Growth in Spain.
Technology: The successful listing and placement in the market of the world’s first digital bond via SIX Digital Exchange, we have reached a milestone with regards to using distributed ledger technology (DLT) in a fully regulated environment; we certainly want to explore the immense potential that SDX has to offer.
Market Data: In terms of market data, the increasing quantity poses the challenge to ensure its quality, and we want to ensure that our data remains of the highest quality, so it can be turned into information that services our clients as well as the clients of our clients.
Tell us one thing that will change in 2022 and one thing that won’t?
The importance of stock exchanges as attractive marketplaces for raising capital and price finding will not change. What will change is how these marketplaces are organised and how they are technically designed.
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.