2017 was a busy year for Euronext and, looking forward, 2018 looks more exciting than ever. The Euronext ‘federal’ model, which means that the exchange group encompasses a number of exchanges around Europe, was expanded with the acquisition of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), announced late November 2017, and expected to be completed in March 2018, post all the regulatory requirements being fulfilled.
Once Ireland is onboarded, the group will have exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Lisbon and Brussels, and a regulated securities market in London.
Benjamin Fussien (pictured), head of ETFs and funds, Euronext says: “This is a good opportunity to talk about 2018 which will be a critical and very exciting year for the ETF business at Euronext. We have a clear road map and ambitious targets.”
Euronext is also looking forward to the launch of its pan-European MTF, planned for the second half of the year. This has been a key project for the exchange at the ETF level and also at the group level, Fussien says.
“Everything is going really well at the moment with strong commitments from all key stakeholders in the ETF business: clearing houses, issuers and participants,” says Fussien. “It’s a major step for the group as a whole.”
This year has also seen a good start with significant increases in daily volume across the group. “All of the efforts that have been made are paying off,” says Fussien. “We are well positioned for the future, onboarding a significant number of trading participants and on the listing side as well, we are enjoying healthy growth in the number of products listed on our markets.”
The other big news for the firm is that the acquisition of ISE will mean the group will have 1,000 plus ETFs globally, on six markets across Europe.
“It’s a very strategic deal and it is even more interesting for the ETF and fund business,” Fussien says. “Dublin will become our centre of excellence in the listing of Debt, Funds & ETFs and Deirdre Somers, the CEO of ISE, will join Euronext’s Managing Board with group-wide responsibility for Debt, Funds & ETFs listings.”
Fussien will remain as direct manager of the ETF business. “We truly believe in our federal model and we are united in diversity,” says Fussien. “It really makes sense and any Euronext employee agrees with the strategy. Having a large number of customers, issuers and trading participants gives us a lot of opportunities to develop our business at once.”
Fussien believes that one of the group’s strengths is working with different cultures across Europe. “It brings innovation and a clear road map of what we want to achieve and where we want to go.”
Early February this year saw the return of volatility to the markets, something predicted by Fussien. “Volatility is back and it’s really good,” he says. “It’s something we expected and we positioned ourselves to benefit from this rise in volatility and to offer our customers a large range of products and a secure and reliable trading platform.
“Everything went well in our different markets and our model has proven to be secure and resilient for all ETF stakeholders and we are happy with that. After three years of particularly flat markets, we saw a volatility spike which was smoothly managed on our markets.”
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