CEO Letter - March 2021

By: Nandini Sukumar, CEO, The WFE Mar 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the March issue of Focus, which is filled with the stories of the 21 accomplished women who make up our annual Women Leaders award, and by some of the distinguished judges who chose them.

The judges are:

Alina Aldambergen – Chair of the Management Board, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange 

Anat Guetta – Chair, the Israeli Securities Authority 

Caroline Silver – Independent Director, Intercontinental Exchange Inc., Advisory Partner Moelis & Company 

Diana Chan – Independent Non-Executive Director of Euroclear SA/NV & Former CEO of EuroCCP

Gabriela Figueiredo Dias ­– Chair, Portuguese Securities Market Commission, CMVM 

Julie Becker – Deputy CEO of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (CEO from April 21) & Founder of the Luxembourg Green Exchange 

Laura M Cha – Chairman, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX)

Nandini Sukumar – CEO, The World Federation of Exchanges 

Sarah Al-Suhaimi – Chair, Tadawul, the Saudi Stock Exchange 

The WFE’s Women Leaders initiative aims to shine the spotlight on some of the talented and gifted women in our industry. We were delighted to see nominations pouring in from every corner of the world as our global membership embraced the challenge of getting their talented leaders on the list. Competition was fierce.

Some of the leaders who made the final list you will have heard of and some we hope you will now discover. These women are accomplished, talented, highly educated and motivated, and with a demonstrable track record of success in their jobs.

It is striking that so many of these women, occupying key industry roles, talk about the critical role that their parents played in creating self-belief and as an inspiration. It’s striking too that so many referred to the need to put your hand up and speak, a challenge that so many of us face in the early career years.

Men and women are very different, and yet of course complementary. This point is made with some elegance by Julie Becker, currently the Deputy CEO at the Luxembourg Exchange and CEO from next month. She was one of the nine judges and writes on leadership in this edition. For Julie, leadership unites passion with purpose, and she discusses how to be successful in creating a sense of purpose within organisations and communicate its strategic goals. I recommend you read this piece, it’s thought-provoking stuff.

We are also fortunate to hear from Laura Cha, Chair, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), one of the world’s largest stock exchanges by market capitalisation. Laura agreed to tell us her own story so we have a wonderful example of what the ultimate nomination form would look like. In addition to discussing her career and her professional highlights and challenges of 2020, she speaks of her own role models and offers her advice to the next generation of leaders. She is both pragmatic and inspirational.

Anat Guetta, Chair of the Israel Securities Authority, writes of her ambition to effect change on her country whatever the obstacles (and there were obstacles aplenty). She was absolutely determined to make Israel’s dynamic high-tech companies available to domestic investors. Few believed it could be done. Such firms listed abroad. What to do? Well, she set about changing things and … well, you’ll need to read her story in full.

We also carry a thoughtful piece on leadership from the ever-excellent Diana Chan, now an Independent Non-Executive Director of Euroclear SA/NV and former CEO of EuroCCP. Diana points out that while our industry passed the fearsome test produced by the whirlwind of pandemic, the next crisis, whose nature is of course unknown, will continue to provide challenges for all leaders. There are numerous thought-provoking ideas here, not least on the most important attribute of a leader, why charisma isn’t enough and why it is outcomes that define true leadership.

But of course, the real delight of this edition of Focus are the stories of our women’s leaders, many of whom are on the frontline of their market infrastructure’s response to the pandemic. The challenges of the past year have been extraordinary, but the determination of these women to keep the system working while ensuring the safety of their staff should make us all believe again in the power and potential of regulated, public markets as we collectively seek to form the new world that will emerge from the lessons of this crisis.

The 21 winners are:

Beatriz Alonso - Head of BME Exchange, BME Spanish Exchanges (EMEA)

Bethany Netzel - Managing Director, Global Head of Business Continuity and Security, CME Group (The Americas)

Bonnie Chan - Head of Listing, HKEX (Asia-Pac)

Edith Lee - Managing Director & CEO, Taipei Exchange (Asia-Pac)

Gay Huey Evans – Chairman, London Metal Exchange (EMEA)

Heba Serafi - Assistant Chairman and Head of Disclosure Sector, The Egyptian Exchange (EMEA)

Helen Lofthouse - Executive General Manager, Derivatives & OTC Markets, ASX Ltd (Asia-Pac)

Jill Griebenow - Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, Cboe (The Americas)

Keisha Bell - Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement, The DTCC (The Americas)

Leila Fourie - Group Chief Executive Officer, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (EMEA)

Lynn Martin - President, Fixed Income & Data Services, Intercontinental Exchange (The Americas)

Maha Mohammed Albesher - Chief Human Resources Officer, Tadawul (EMEA)

Marion Leslie – Head Financial Information, SIX Group (EMEA)

Mary Stephen Mniwasa – Chief Legal Counsel & Board Secretary, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (EMEA)

Natalya Khoroshevskaya - Deputy Chairwoman, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (EMEA)

Paula Redondo Pereira Head of Regulatory Affairs, Luxembourg Stock Exchange (EMEA)

Priya Subbaraman - Chief Regulatory Officer, National Stock Exchange of India (Asia-Pac)

Rasha Dayyat - Director of Planning and Institutional Development, Amman Stock Exchange (EMEA)

Tinku Gupta - Senior Managing Director, Chief Technology Officer, SGX (Asia-Pac)

Tinuade Awe - Executive Director, Regulation, Nigeria Stock Exchange (EMEA)

Yan Sha - President & CEO, Shenzhen Stock Exchange (Asia-Pac)

I hope you enjoy this edition of Focus as much as I do.

Nandini Sukumar
Chief Executive Officer