Top honours

The JSE Spire Awards continue to showcase the best performers in delivering first-class financial services

Top honours

Institutional investors and similar market participants significantly influence capital market activity and are crucial for financing economies. But they are not all the same, coming as they do in many varied forms and with differing characteristics. However, this year’s JSE Spire Awards winners, as indeed all the winners over the past 21 years, do share values that are clearly inherent in their achieving service excellence and the recognition they deserve.

Thembi Mda-Maluleka, Head of Interest Rates and Currencies at the JSE, says those values are part of the defining criteria when voting is cast by peer institutional investors and their clients. ‘In fact, it is not just the winners but all participants that deserve recognition for maintaining their collective values, which include, but are not limited to, professionalism, client- and solutions-focused skills, tenacity, resilience and integrity.’

These values and skills are effectively vested in the derivative markets of bonds, interest rates, currency/forex and commodities, the latter three having been introduced subsequent to the first JSE Spire Awards in 2002, with the addition of a research category. As such, the awards cover a large ecosystem of the SA capital markets, says Mda-Maluleka.

‘The JSE Spire Awards have evolved to be recognised as an important benchmark in the sector; the means by which participants can gauge their performance against their peers, and their service capability. This valuable feedback from the client environment to the participants is unparalleled, and is thus taken very seriously by those who manage the billions of assets in, for example, pension and provident funds, unit trusts and portfolios.’

Outcomes from the awards have also proven, over the years, to have a direct impact on how assets in financial markets are managed in the forthcoming and subsequent years, and elevates an institutional investor’s reputation. The assurance of being judged on a level playing field, such as the JSE Spire Awards, means that all investors are motivated to professionally aggregate the capital that businesses need to grow and, more, puts liquidity into trading markets that are driving innovation and sustainability.

This is crucial at a time when economic growth has been frustrated by turbulent events such as the COVID pandemic and the country’s current power crisis.

Winners of the JSE Spire Awards 2023 received nominations in 39 categories, which includes the best house awards – a consolidation, or roll-up, of certain weighted results, says Mda-Maluleka. The highly coveted Best Fixed Income and Forex House in 2023 was won by Rand Merchant Bank, which also took the crown in 11 other categories, namely Best Market Making Team: Cash Settled Commodity Derivatives; Best Market Making Team: Listed Interest Rate Derivatives; Best Sales Team: Interest Rate Derivatives; Best Market Making Team: Interest Rate Derivatives; Best Market Making Team: On-Screen Listed FX Derivatives; Best Debt Origination Team; Best Team: Credit Bonds; Best Repo Team; Best Sales Team: Bonds; Best Interest Rate Derivative House; and Best Bond House.

Other notable winners include Absa CIB, Standard Bank, Nedbank, Citibank, Tradition, Avior Capital Markets, Peresec Derivatives, BVG Commodities, Robinson Muller De Waal Financial Services, and CJS Securities.

They were presented with their awards at a ceremony attended by traders, analysts, treasurers, executives and other senior financial markets professionals from the largest financial organisations in SA. It was highlighted during the presentation that the winners all demonstrated resilience, despite operating in a challenging climate, continuing to deliver world-class service to their clients.

By Kerry Dimmer
Image: Gallo/Getty Images