CEO Letter - February 2022

By: The WFE Focus Team Feb 2022

Welcome to the February’s Focus – an edition where we think a lot about IPOs, listings, leadership and the role of our industry in the years to come as the pandemic continues to make us all reflective.

To get us started, Saudi Tadawul Group’s CEO Khalid al Hussan, who recently led the organization through a successful IPO, explains the thinking, the action and how & why this has laid the foundations for an exciting future as the exchange walks the path it more normally supports companies through.

Across the globe, in Canada, the head of another big exchange, TMX CEO John McKenzie, talks about the future of work, sustainability and leading by example, demonstrating how true leaders set an example and demonstrate their vision with action.

Staying with leadership, B3 CEO Gilson Finkelsztain, tells us why he believes the one constant is the need for financial markets to respond quickly to the increasing expectations of clients, regulators and investors. 

In Turkey, after Borsa Istanbul reached a series of new highs in 2021 despite the lingering pandemic, CEO Korkmaz Ergun is focusing on sustainability, digitalisation and working ever more closely with investors. 

Thinking about listings and how the exchange community can learn from the success of some of the measures introduced to support issuers over the last two years, Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s registration-based IPO system has optimised listing conditions to enhance market inclusiveness. In the last year, 728 IPO applications from over 50 industries were accepted and reviewed, with 186 companies being listed. 

 And to close us off, staying with disclosure, JPX surveyed 259 Japanese companies to see how they responded to a push for climate-related disclosures. Most are disclosing climate risks and opportunities, a fact that may encourage other companies with their own climate-related efforts. 

Be sure to read the new WFE report on how flexibilities for listed issuers, introduced as a result of the pandemic, could be used to stimulate SME listing in the future. Drawing upon the initial findings of a WFE member survey on Covid-related issuer flexibilities, the WFE paper studies how exchanges worked closely with wider stakeholders -- including regulators, governmental departments, and institutional investors -- to help companies deal with the challenges of the pandemic. The paper acts as a stock take of the measures that were introduced but also considers whether some of these relaxations are fit for purpose as we ‘build back better’ following the pandemic.

Read on for more.