CEO Letter – October 2021

By: Nandini Sukumar, CEO, The WFE Oct 2021

Our October issue is devoted to investor protection, financial literacy, and financial inclusion: things WFE members do as naturally as breathing. It’s a subject that has even greater resonance as we consider the increased participation of retail investors in financial markets.

This month we hear from 14 of our members, starting with Edith Lee, CEO and Executive Director of the Taipei Exchange. Helping today’s investors gain experience and confidence is an essential part of building a modern society, she writes.

Ittai Ben-Zeev, Chief Executive Officer of Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, agrees, as he ponders the role of the exchange in raising financial awareness.

In Asia, the pandemic paved the way for more stock market account openings, especially among the working population, so the Philippine bourse has beefed up its literacy activities in order to help new investors understand the risks and rewards of the financial instruments they’re getting into, says Ramon S. Monzon,President and CEO, Philippine Stock Exchange. 

Meanwhile, in the US, Anita Liskey, Senior Managing Director, Global Brand Marketing and Communications, CME Group, writes of how investment banks and financial firms remain top destinations for future graduates. CME’s annual University Trading Challenge is designed to give future financial leaders a taste for the trading floor and a head-start in this arena, she explains.

In a similar vein, Korkmaz Ergun, CEO and Member of the Board at Borsa Istanbul explains how, from financing school construction to offering university training and broadcasting videos on national TV, the Turkish exchange is equipping young people with the knowledge to become confident future investors.

Singapore has become one of the leading countries in Asia to spearhead comprehensive financial literacy programmes for its citizens. Singapore Exchange’s Head of Research, Chan Kum Kong, looks at the bourse’s achievements, and what lies ahead.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s world-beating financial literacy rates show that education has the power to create opportunities at every level of society, writes Vanessa Lau, Group Chief Financial Officer, HKEX.

Remaining in Asia, in Japan, trillions of yen are locked up in household savings. The exchange has therefore devised a series of initiatives to get those assets working for the economy, writes Hasegawa Takaaki, Director, Financial Literacy Support, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc., a company of Japan Exchange Group.

Moving to Europe, Ed Knight, Vice Chairman at Nasdaq Inc., looks at how a vibrant investment education ecosystem has helped Sweden cement its status as one of Europe’s most important growth centres for SMEs.

In South Asia, education is a key component of the overarching goal of investor protection, a goal in which regulatory bodies and financial institutions play a pivotal role, says Niroshan Wijesundere, Head of Marketing, Colombo Stock Exchange. 

In LatAm, BMV is leveraging technology to accelerate digital platforms, content, and education campaigns to promote financial awareness and investing in financial markets, says Luis René Ramón, Director of Financial Planning, Investor Relations and ESG, and Nalleli Barajas, Deputy Director of ESG, at Bolsa Mexicana de Valores. 

In Africa, exchanges are thinking long-term. Financial literacy is critical to the growth of capital markets in Nigeria and the NGX is committed to supporting initiatives that encourage the public to develop sustainable investment habits, says Olumide Bolumole, Divisional Head, Listings Business, Nigeria Exchange Ltd.

A similar theme arises in Central Asia. Ongoing education and financial literacy campaigns are paying off in Kazakhstan, where the pool of quality investors is growing at an unprecedented rate, says Yermek Mazhekenov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Kazakhstan Stock Exchange.

And, to conclude on a comic note, the Taiwan Stock Exchange has for more than a decade taken an innovative approach to financial education through the medium of comic books, writes TWSE Corporate Communications Department Associate Chiu Fun-Shun. 

Each year, the WFE and IOSCO get together to hold the annual Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy during World Investor Week, so do tune in for all the great webinars and festivity that accompanies this very special week.

See you next month for more.

Nandini Sukumar
Chief Executive Officer