World Federation of Exchanges

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World Federation of Exchanges
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Founded 1961
Headquarters London
Products Trade association
Web site

The London-based World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) is one of the largest trade organizations in the financial services industry. It has more than 200 market infrastructure members, including 66 exchanges from across the securities and futures industry representing the vast majority of exchange-traded business, as well as clearinghouses.

The Federation acts as a discussion and policy forum - focused at its annual general assembly - for issues including self regulation, enforcement and securities business conduct. It advocates on behalf of the global exchange sector and works with global regulators to establish standards for the proper functioning of publicly regulated securities markets.

Each member exchange upholds WFE's four core pillars which include: being significant within its country of origin, being regulated by a supervisory body or within a statutory framework, working in capital raising and risk management, and pursuing purposes for the public good.[1]

The Federation also acts as a source for market statistics, and sponsors research, promotes corporate governance standards, and provides professional relations and industry advocacy. It holds and publishes more than 350 market data indicators. [2]

WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed companies with a total market cap of $62.7 trillion and trading value of $110.7 trillion. The WFE promotes the development of fair, efficient and transparent markets. It works with policy makers, regulators and standard-setters around the world to support the development of effective rules and standards for exchanges and market participants.


The WFE was founded in London in 1961 as the International Federation of Stock Exchanges. 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 original title of the organization was changed to a more global one, La Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs (FIBV) and in 2001 at the Annual Congress in Madrid it assumed the name which it retains today, the World Federation of Exchanges.

In February of 2009, William Brodsky, chief executive officer of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, became the first executive from a derivatives exchange 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.[4]

In 2012, the WFE created 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.[5] In October of that year, then-WFE secretary-general and former Istanbul Stock Exchange CEO Hüseyin Erkan was named as the WFE's first CEO.

In October of 2013, during the WFE General Assembly in Mexico City, WFE delegates approved a decision to move its headquarters from Paris to London. The move was done to place the WFE closer to its members and customers. During the meeting, the WFE also increased its membership to 62 regulated exchanges, including five new bourses. The new members are Dubai Financial Markets, Hochiminh Stock Exchange, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, New Zealand Stock Exchange and Qatar Exchange.[6]

In October 2014, Erkan stepped down as CEO and was replaced by former chief administrative officer Nandini Sukumar.[7]

Organization and Key Personnel[edit]

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.

WFE - A Global Voice, 2016[edit]


The WFE publishes an annual report and market statistics.[8]

In the past four decades it has published studies, surveys and reports on issues such as self-regulation, cross-border trading, HFT, cyber security, sustainable finance and many others.

In April 2021, the group published a research paper titled "Circuit breakers and other market safeguards." The first of a two-part series, the report examined the kind of market circuit breakers and other safeguards and how they were used during recent COVID-19 related events. Among the findings, 67% of the exchanges studied confirmed their circuit breakers were triggered in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. [9]

In 2021, the WFE worked with the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE Initiative) to develop the paper, "How Derivatives Exchanges Can Promote Sustainable Development – An Action Menu." The paper provides an overview of the ways that derivative markets can encourage more sustainable and just business models among players in the financial system. [10]

On September 12, 2022 the World Federation of Exchanges published the results of its eighth sustainability survey, which it said revealed a significant advance in the depth and scope of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) – with an increased focus on the transition to carbon neutrality.[11]