World Federation of Exchanges

From MarketsWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fex logo new.png

World Federation of Exchanges
Wfe masterlogo blue.PNG
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]

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 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]

Sustainability and ESG[edit]

Sustainability survey of exchanges[edit]

The World Federation of Exchanges issued its Ninth Annual Sustainability Survey on June 12, 2023. A total of 54 exchanges participated in the survey, including five derivatives-only exchanges. The survey found that 70% of exchanges have adopted the WFE’s Sustainability Principles. Every exchange participated in at least one ESG initiative and WFE Sustainability Principle. The EFE also announced the Green Equity Principles, the first exchange-wide agreement on what is green. [10]

WFE CEO Nandini Sukumar discussed the WFE Ninth Annual Sustainability Report on the The John Lothian News ESG Podcast in an interview with Sally Duros August 24, 2023.

The Eighth Annual Sustainability Survey released On September 12, 2022, said results 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]

WFE Green Equity Principles[edit]

On March 23, 2023, the WFE announced industry-wide WFE Green Equity Principles, the first global framework for designating stocks and shares as green. The principles were agreed upon globally by WFE members and are meant to counter greenwashing and support the enhanced flow of funding toward more sustainable economies, the WFE said.[12] WFE CEO Nandini Sukumar spoke with John Lothian News about the principles in a podcast in August 2023.

Report with Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative[edit]

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 derivative markets can encourage more sustainable and just business models among players in the financial system. [13]

Sustainability principles[edit]

On October 4, 2018, the WFE published five Sustainability Principles, an expression by WFE membership of their intention to take on a leadership role promoting the sustainable finance agenda. These are:

  1. Exchanges will work to educate participants in the exchange ecosystem about the importance of sustainability issues.
  2. Exchanges will promote the enhanced availability of investor relevant, decision-useful ESG information.
  3. Exchanges will actively engage with stakeholders to advance the sustainable finance agenda.
  4. Exchanges will provide markets and products that support the scaling-up of sustainable finance and reorientation of financial flows.
  5. Exchanges will establish effective internal governance and operational processes and policies to support their sustainability efforts. [14]


The WFE spearheads the annual Ring the Bell for Gender Equality initiative, a global event that begins on March 1 every year and lasts for two weeks. During this event, exchanges and CCPs globally ring opening or closing bells to celebrate International Women’s Day, promote gender equality, highlight the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, and recognize the contribution of women in building a better future for all.[15] It also runs the Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy campaign, which occurs during World Investor Week (WIW) in October. Founded by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), WIW is a global campaign to raise awareness about the importance of investor and financial literacy.[16]

The global industry group also publishes an annual Women Leaders List, which draws from nominations to choose 20 women as a distinguished group of industry leaders.[17]

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.

Nandini Sukumar, CEO of WFE