Welcome to January's Focus - our first issue, looking ahead to a busy year in 2019.
To get us started, we have a piece from Dr Urs Rüegsegger, Chairman, SIX Swiss Exchange & Chairman, WFE. Urs has been deeply involved in the work of the WFE since he became Working Committee Chairman in late 2014, and we are delighted to have that recognised formally as he becomes our Chair for the next two years. He has a deep understanding of the industry, a clear vision of the future, and a dry wit and unassuming style that has made him beloved of the WFE’s 71 members, representing 300 market infrastructures around the world.
We are also delighted to welcome 14 Chairmen and CEOs to the magazine this month, in our ‘2019 Viewpoints’feature. Each executive shares their perspective on the most pressing issues and themes that may impact the market infrastructure industry over 2019. They cover a wide range of topics, from fintech, sustainable finance, digital assets and regulatory change, to competition and geopolitical tensions, and also give us updates on the key strategic initiatives they are working on in the coming year.
Our 14 executives represent a truly global view – from the largest to the smallest of exchanges and CCPs, and from both developed and emerging markets:
We would like to thank each of them for taking part in this important feature.
Earlier this month, the WFE Research Team published its second research report into the factors that drive international investor participation in emerging markets (the first in this series came out in December 2018). The purpose of the more recent paper, written with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), is to provide exchange operators, securities regulators and policy-makers with greater insight into the drivers of investment decisions in emerging and frontier markets, as reported by investors themselves.
The WFE held a reception for more than 100 guests in London on 21 January to launch the research, featuring key note speeches from David Schwimmer, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group and Sandy Frucher, Vice Chairman, Nasdaq on how their firms work hand-in-hand with investors in emerging markets.
The first WFE Board & Working Committee meetings of the year also took place earlier this month, and set the tone for the busy year ahead, confirming the key business priorities that the WFE will focus on. These include: regulatory coherence; technology-related issues including initial coin offerings (ICOs), crypto assets and cyber resilience; environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues including dual-class shares and sustainability; clarifying the nature of market data; and CCP capital issues.
The WFE will be holding a one-day forum on Thursday 14 March in London entitled ‘International Investors and Emerging Markets’ to explore the themes and takeaways from the two reports in more detail, including sessions on how to build liquidity, and the role of post-trade in emerging markets. The event will also review the work of the WFE’s Emerging Markets Working Group (EMWG), and examine the key role of the WFE as one of the leading stakeholders in the emerging markets debate. The forum will be open to members; please look out for registration information very soon.
In Focus this month, the WFE Research Team’s monthly insights piece looks at market capitalisation trends, along with its latest monthly dashboard and market statistics.
Registration is now open for IOMA: WFE’s 36th Clearing & Derivatives Conference 2019, which will take place 2-4 April in Mumbai. The agenda for the conference is now finalised, and features an incredible roster of speakers, moderators and panellists, who will cover topics including the future of CCPs; regulatory coherence; FX; resilience; the clearing model for crypto-assets; and the relationship between central banks and CCPs. As ever, the two-day event looks set to be high-level and thought-provoking, and will bring together the global leaders of the post-trade industry.
Please diarise the second WFE Working Committee meeting which is taking place on Wednesday 12 June.
And finally, the bi-annual WFE Technology Conference will be held 30 June - 2 July in Umea, Sweden. We will be launching the event website in due course, so please look out for more information soon.
We hope you have had a good start to 2019, and we look forward to another exciting year working in partnership with you all.
Chief Executive Officer