KEEPING PACE - JSE MAGAZINE

KEEPING PACE

JSE magazine talks to Donna Oosthuyse, Director: Capital Markets, about the various challenges the division faces and her strategic vision for her team

KEEPING PACE

Q: The Capital Markets division is responsible for Primary Markets (strategy and commercials for all existing and new issuers), product development (equities, bonds and derivatives – ETFs, ETns, Nautilus) and Secondary Markets (strategy and commercials for all existing and new market participants). You also serve on two JSE advisory committees and are responsible for Business Intelligence and Statistics. That must be quite daunting…
A:
I have long admired the JSE as a best-in-class organisation with its high capabilities and multi-faceted functions, and all this has been underpinned by the JSE’s ongoing recognition as one of the leading global exchanges. I am extremely proud and excited to have joined such a passionate and talented team and believe that my 30-plus years of global banking experience, most of which was in capital markets, will provide the team with a unique perspective and add value to our activities. Joining the JSE will also allow me to help shape the future architecture of capital markets in SA and serve the needs of issuers and investors, creating value for our clients by developing innovative solutions to meet their needs.

Q: What do you see as the division’s greatest challenge?
A:
A major challenge for all organised exchanges is to remain relevant to benefit issuers and investors. Thus we need to ensure that more emphasis is placed on the relevance of clients’ needs – in both the primary and secondary markets. We also need to ensure that we are keeping pace with the ongoing evolution in technology, products and services to remain the venue of choice to raise capital and ensure investor participation while providing value across our broad range of asset classes.

‘We need to ensure that more emphasis is placed on the relevance of clients’ needs – in both the primary and secondary markets’

Q: Is there any particular new direction that you’d like the division to embark in, and any new product or approach that you’d like to introduce?
A:
There is a great team in place and a very strong foundation to build upon. We plan to leverage that to provide a platform for the continued growth and development of capital markets. Our focus will include capturing the synergies between our cash and derivatives markets across all products and asset classes; a focus on innovation to develop strategies that deal with real economy challenges and link them to capital markets; and a renewed focus on providing value to clients and stakeholders with dedicated organisational resources. We will investigate the opportunities that lie in financing infrastructure, power and energy, SMEs and the AltX, and position the JSE as a catalyst for increased market activity and attractiveness for issuers and investors.

Q: In the equity market, your team is working on a settlement cycle from a T+5 basis to T+3. How will it change the way settlements are currently being done?
A:
The JSE’s move to a T+3 settlement cycle for the equity market will align the South African market with global standards and improve its efficiency and credibility. Shortening the current equities settlement cycle will reduce settlement risk while bringing the exchange in line with global best practice. Apart from mitigating both systemic and settlement risk, the move to T+3 offers numerous benefits to the market, including attracting foreign investors by harmonising settlements with global standards and boosting liquidity, as assets are released from the settlement process quicker.

The JSE currently has a very strong post-trade base across all markets and our vision is to become the best post-trade and clearing environment in the world. T+3 is just one of the many developments that are required to accomplish these world-class standards. From a capital markets perspective, we support this move to a T+3 settlement cycle, which will bring us on par with our international peers. I believe that this move will serve as a catalyst for increased liquidity and make our exchange more attractive to investors, both here and abroad.

Q: Is it a matter of teamwork?
A:
I have a great team of very capable and passionate people who cover the various elements within my portfolio. We have developed an organisational structure that underpins and supports our mandate within the JSE as well as our strategic positioning in both the primary and secondary markets.

By Louise Brougham-Cook
Image: Gallo/GettyImages