CEO Letter - October 2019

By: Nandini Sukumar, CEO, The WFE Oct 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the October issue of Focus. We have the pleasure of looking back to the WFE’s 59th General Assembly & Annual Meeting that took place in Singapore earlier this month. We would firstly like to thank our exceptionally welcoming hosts Singapore Exchange (SGX) who organised this event with grace, the utmost professionalism, and such care. It was one of our most memorable conferences - we particularly enjoyed the spectacular market opening ceremony in the SGX IPO Arena - so thank you to the outstanding team at SGX.

Our second thanks go to the superb roster of speakers, moderators and panellists, all of whom provided us with fascinating viewpoints, interesting perspectives, and a great deal of lively debate. We are delighted to welcome a number of those participants to the magazine:

  • Boon Chye Loh, Chief Executive Officer, SGX, sat down with us to share his thoughts on the WFE’s General Assembly & Annual Meeting, as well as on SGX’s strategic priorities for the rest of the year.
  • Robert Scharfe, Chief Executive Officer, Luxembourg Stock Exchange, explains the role of exchanges in promoting ESG issues in capital markets, while also emphasising that the exchanges’ role will evolve in the coming years as the sustainability agenda becomes ever more poignant;
  • Jos Dijsselhof, Chief Executive Officer, SIX Swiss Exchange, discusses how SIX is adapting to a rapidly changing financial world, especially with the forthcoming launch of its Digital Exchange (SDX);  
  • Dawn DeBerry Stump, Commissioner, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), shares her views on the regulation of financial markets, namely via the use of principles rather than prescriptions;
  • John Fennell, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), addresses the risks associated with blockchain in an ever-evolving technological world;
  • Paul Muthaura, Chief Executive Officer, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA) and his colleague Margaret Awino stress the importance of ESG issues, technology, transparency and strong cyber security to ensuring the future of capital raising and the exchanges’ crucial role in this space;
  • Dr. Jeffrey Jaensubhakij, Group Chief Investment Officer, GIC, who shares his keynote speech from Singapore, which addressed capital raising, liquidity and his perspective on the Asian capital market;
  • Oscar N. Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, The Nigerian Stock Exchange who shares his thoughts on the WFE’s General Assembly & Annual Meeting, as well as the themes that stood out for him, namely ESG issues and data;
  • Masamichi Kono, Deputy Secretary-General, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), who discusses the OECD’s role in promoting sustainability, especially in the financial sector;
  • Geoffrey Odundo, Chief Executive, Nairobi Securities Exchange, who examines the role of technology in financial infrastructures, especially the importance of mobile technology to reach new investors; and
  • Paul Jiganti, Managing Director of Business Development, IMC, who explores the role of regulation and its impact on market liquidity.

As ever, our General Assembly & Annual Meeting proved to be an exciting few days with the election of four Directors to our Board, and the signing of the MoU between the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. This MoU will further cement the strategic partnership between the two exchanges as they work together to grow the green bonds market. This achievement also shows that the WFE is intrinsic in encouraging cooperation across markets and regions, creating an environment where the leaders of our capital markets infrastructure can share knowledge and learn from each other.

Sustainability continued to be a theme more broadly this month with the London Stock Exchange (LSE) launching a green economy mark and sustainable bond market. This move will enable the LSE to support issuers and investors in the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. David Harris, LSE, tells us more about this development.

We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate NZX on their 150th anniversary! NZX have been celebrating this milestone throughout the year with celebrations taking place across the cities of New Zealand. James Miller, Chairman, NZX Limited, tells us more.

This year, IOSCO and the WFE worked in partnership on a new initiative to support World Investor Week (WIW) called ‘Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy’. We invited WFE members to hold a bell ringing ceremony or an alternative event during WIW 2019 (30 September to 4 October), to promote the importance of financial literacy, and to raise awareness of WIW 2019. We are delighted to report that 39 WFE members took part and organised a range of events to accompany the bell ringings, from museum tours to investor-education seminars. Following the success of this year’s event, we are already excited for WIW 2020!

This month’s issue also features a thought-provoking TED talk from Adena Friedman, CEO and President, Nasdaq, who discusses the future of capitalism, stating that it is subject to the will of the people and, therefore, closely connected with freedom.

October saw the WFE’s Regulatory Affairs team issue a response to the FCA, asking it not to ban the sale of crypto derivatives to retail consumers. The response also supported the FCA’s desire to better protect vulnerable consumers. In its response, the WFE emphasised its desire to help find the right balance between enabling innovative products to be traded in the UK, and ensuring that they are sold responsibly, by fully regulated providers to ensure proper customer protection. This month, the WFE Statistics team’s monthly insights piece provides a market update on Q3.

We are also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Pedro Gurrola-Perez as Head of Research, who has joined us from the Bank of England, where he led the Financial Market Infrastructures (FMI) Directorate Research Team. Pedro will be taking over from Bill Speth, who has been our Interim Head of Research for the last few months. We are excited to have Pedro as part of our team and look forward to seeing him develop and grow our crucial research function. Bill will remain with the WFE as Adviser to the CEO.

As always at the WFE, we are already looking ahead to 2020. Firstly, we will be hosting our London Reception in January 2020 and hope to provide you with more information on this forthcoming event soon. Secondly, our annual IOMA: WFE’s Clearing & Derivatives Conference will take place in Malta in March 2020. In preparation for this exciting event, we have issued a call for papers, asking for the submission of academic research, which will define and shape the structure of our next conference.

In the meantime, we wish you well for the coming months and hope you enjoy reading our October issue.

Nandini Sukumar
Chief Executive Officer