CEO Letter - July 2020

Published by: Nandini Sukumar, CEO, The WFE Jul 2020

Dear Colleagues

Welcome to the July issue of Focus.

As we enter the six month of the global crisis that the pandemic has triggered we go back to fundamentals and think about what it is that we can do at this point as an industry and a community. The challenges we face, and our opportunities to find solutions, are far reaching.

In the first half of this year exchanges and central counterparties did what they do best: they were resilient, predictable, robust, calm and orderly as the market structures they create and operate held strong and sheltered investors and market participants who needed to use markets. It’s what our members do every day and that resilience: which requires foresight, investment, energy, resource, commitment and planning, isn’t accidental. It’s the soul of every regulated exchange and CCP in the world.  

Our members also did what they always do: they stepped far beyond the financial world to ensure they help those less privileged and those who need our support the most. While our industry has spent a decade on the frontline of sustainable finance, they don’t see their commitment to developing capital markets as ending there.

Our July issue of Focus always reminds me that we have passed the mid-point of the year and that December is coming sooner than we have expected. So this month we feature some thought provoking and substantive reflections from leaders in the industry on what we believe will be some of the trends that define the second half of this year.

We are delighted to feature contributions from:

Tajinder Singh, Deputy Secretary General, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions who reflects on why the world needs to keep markets open during the crisis and how doing so helped regulators engage with their fundamental objectives: investor protection, market integrity and systemic risk mitigation;

Jos Dijsselhof, CEO, SIX Group explains why their recent acquisition of Spanish stock exchange and financial market group Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) will change the industry;

Radish Singh, who leads Deloitte Southeast Asia’s financial crime compliance practice, discusses the challenges posed to capital markets by the pandemic – including money laundering by criminals, and increasing risks on cybersecurity and fraud;

James Zhan, Director of Trade and Enterprise, UNCTAD and leader of the UN’s annual World Investment Report talks us through the impact of the crisis on foreign direct investment, which is now expected to drop by as much as 40 percent worldwide this year because of the coronavirus crisis;

Jalil Tarif, Secretary General, the Union of Arab Securities Authorities, explores the impact of the pandemic crisis on the MENA region and explores some of the trends and debates there as market participants evolve with the needs of the hour; and

Loh Boon Chye, CEO, Singapore Exchange (SGX) sets out how their flagship charity event, the popular SGX Bull Charge’s charity run is going virtual due to Covid-19 but has a target for participants to run a collective 100,000 km to support those most affected by the pandemic. The event is open to runners from all around the world and will be held from 30 October to 13 November, kicking off with a virtual Chief Challenge involving CEOs and chiefs of companies.

Here in the UK, at the WFE, we are continuing to facilitate the exchange of Covid-19 business continuity best practice on our dedicated webpage, which brings together exchange and CCP efforts to keep operating resilient markets in the midst of the crisis. Please continue to send new initiatives and actions you are taking in regard to Covid-19, as the crisis continues to evolve. Email us your updates to [email protected]

As we end July, I would like to thank not just our contributors and members for the work they are doing to keep markets open and safe, but also appreciate all those on the frontline of the health crisis and express our gratitude for their tireless efforts.

Thank you for joining us for this month's issue. Stay safe and healthy. See you in August.

Nandini Sukumar
Chief Executive Officer
The World Federation of Exchanges



Nandini Sukumar
Chief Executive Officer
The WFE