World Federation of Exchanges

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World Federation of Exchanges
Wfe masterlogo blue.PNG
Founded 1961
Headquarters Paris
Products Trade association
Web site

The Paris-based World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) is one of the largest trade organizations in the financial services industry, with more than 50 exchange members from across the securities and futures industry representing the vast majority of exchange-traded business. In addition, another 48 affiliate exchanges from developing countries are part of WFE.

The federation acts as a discussion and policy forum - focused at its annual general assembly - for issues including self regulation, enforcement, trading halts and securities business conduct.

William Brodsky, chief executive officer of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, in February of 2009 became the first executive from a derivatives market to take over as chairman of the WFE. Brodsky's inauguration, which was hosted by NYSE Euronext in Paris, was seen by some as a sign that securities and derivatives could no longer be treated as isolated markets.[1]

It became known in March of 2012 that the WFE planned to create the post of chief executive as part of a revamp aimed at transforming the group from an association focused on research to a more active lobbyist for bourses.[2]


The WFE was founded in London in 1961 as the International Federation of Stock Exchanges, changing to its current name in 2001 to reflect the admission of derivatives platforms and clearinghouses. The Federation traces its roots to the International Bureau of Stock Exchange, created in the 1930s in an initiative spearheaded by the International Chamber of Commerce.[3]

The board of directors approved three priorities for 2009. It will look to help the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) set best practices for short selling[4] and securities lending. It will try to clarify the use of circuit breakers in volatile markets, ensuring that they are predictable and temporary, and study the effects of fragmentation and its impact on market quality.

In February of 2010, the WFE announced priorities for the year. Its board of directors pledged to:

  • Support reform in the regulation of OTC derivatives markets, which were a contributing factor in the recent financial crisis.
  • Continue to press for international cooperation and coordination among regulators and exchanges on intermarket mechanisms.
  • Examine the structure of fixed income markets in order to evaluate how post-trade transparency, risk management and investor protection could help these markets recover from the drop in liquidity that they have experienced since the credit crisis.

The board also welcomed José M. Campa, the Spanish Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, a position of global significance as Spain held the European Union presidency at the time.

The WFE said that as part of its Jubilee anniversary in 2010, the Federation would recall the contribution of exchanges to the growth of capital markets the previous five decades in a book that would be published in 2010.

Organization and Key Personnel

The WFE is governed by a 17-member board of directors; the chairman, vice-chairman and board are elected for two years at the general assembly.

Under new statutes set out in 2012, positions of chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operating officer (COO) were created. Hüseyin Erkan, who was appointed the new secretary general of the WFE in June of 2012, would become the chief executive officer, and the deputy secretary general, Peter Clifford, would become the chief operating officer.


Annually, the WFE publishes market statistics.[5]



IMOA Derivatives Survey 2006. WFE.


  1. A Derivatives First: CBOE’s Brodsky First Derivatives CEO To Head WFE. Pensions & Investments.
  2. [ Exchanges body to appoint chief executive].
  3. Official History. WFE.
  4. World Federation of Exchanges Board of Directors Issues Statement on Short Selling Ban, Feb. 9, 2009. WFE.
  5. 2010 Market Statistics. World Federation of Exchanges.