On 19 April 2018, Siobhan Cleary, the WFE’s Head of Research & Public Policy, joined over 100 African exchange CEOs, regulators, and market participants for the seventh Building African Financial Markets (BAFM) capacity building seminar.
Siobhan started the event in 2012 when she was still at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and in 2016 it was officially moved under the umbrella of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA). Since then, the event has been hosted by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (2016), Bourse de Casablanca (2017) and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE, one of the WFE’s newest members).
The theme for this year’s event was 'Adaptive Innovation as a Level for the Growth and Sustainable Development of African Financial Markets'. The WFE worked closely with the ASEA secretariat and the NSE to identify topics of interest to the membership, to develop the programme for the event, and to source relevant speakers. Topics covered at the event ranged from 'A Guide for Managing Cyber Risk' to 'FinTech as an Enabler for Sustainable Development' to 'Effective Risk Management in Clearing and Settlement – A CCP in a Box'. Speakers came from across the continent and the rest of the world, and included representatives from the United Nations, fintech start-ups, data vendors, exchanges and market structure experts.
Siobhan and Archie Stebbings, from Oliver Wyman, presented the newly launched WFE and Oliver Wyman market integrity report 'Market infrastructures and market integrity: A post-crisis journey and vision for the future'. They began by remarking that the purpose of the report was to highlight the very important role of exchanges and CCPs (market infrastructures) in ensuring market integrity, and how this was likely to evolve and intensify over time. They noted that MIs play a critical role in fostering market integrity through rulemaking and enforcement, membership admission criteria, market surveillance and supervision, market data and reporting and investor education. They went on to explain that market evolution and shifting stakeholder expectations were impacting the landscape for market infrastructures, and even though many African exchanges were not subject to the same post-crisis reform requirements as European or US markets, the impacts would be felt as a result of the global nature of financial markets. They concluded by setting out the key forecasts of the report namely:
•the ability to provide market integrity would be a competitive differentiator for market infrastructures;
•market infrastructures were well-positioned to offer supervision and surveillance services as a market offering;
•there would be a shift to much greater cross-industry collaboration on issues of market integrity;
•markets would increasingly utilise technology to enable (near) real-time surveillance and enforcement; and
•current supervision models would need to move to a more interactive and outcomes-based approach to meet future needs.
The presentation set the scene for the day and a half of active presentations and discussions that followed.
The conference ended with a farewell dinner at the Nairobi National Museum, where delegates competed in an animated dance-off, ably led by the NSE CEO, Geoffrey Odundo.