From the CEO

From the CEO

The first quarter has sped by so quickly. National sentiment seems set to bearish but I think that we need to stand back and consider whether we are looking at it with the correct lens.

Three years ago, when asked for route markers of positive change, among those that we would have said we would like to see would have been a new SARS commissioner; a new director of the National Prosecuting Authority; tackling and holding to account those responsible for state capture; action to address the governance and management of state-owned entities; the appointment of competent ministers in key portfolios; and government policy direction focused on building inclusive growth.

On all of these, we have made progress in the right direction. Where I think criticism is well placed, is that the rate of change remains a challenge – resulting in SA missing the opportunity to make a real difference to the lived experience of all its people.

This, in turn, results in people feeling more disenchanted and economically disenfranchised, and thus we all lose out on the opportunity of building the SA we all want to live in. This will continue unless bolder steps are taken by leaders in both the public and private sector to craft a national narrative and a future that inspires and includes all South Africans.

As the JSE, one of our contributions to enabling a growing economy is to be the best global exchange platform in emerging markets. We are clear about what we need to do to achieve this.

In this regard, we are excited to be approaching the finishing line of the nearly four-year delivery of our integrated trading and clearing (ITaC) platform on which our equity and currency derivatives markets will trade and clear. This will enable those products to trade on robust technology using world-class functionality and risk-management techniques that we expect will enable our clients to lower their end-to-end cost of trading those products. This has been a long journey and I want to express my gratitude to all our clients for their exceptional commitment to getting here with us.

Moving forward, we are excited by a number of opportunities to implement new equities functionality; to move our bonds and repo products onto new technology; and to drive our data and index business. We also finally have some space to look at inorganic opportunities down the value chain that will help us service our listed companies better, and help us provide more products to our investors.

Our approach to all of these is to make a difference as quickly as we can. We are clear that we need to make the necessary changes with increased speed since the rate of change in our industry is accelerating, and we need our platforms and products to be ready to handle any stresses and opportunities put to them as our economy’s growth flywheel starts to turn. This is a responsibility that comes with the privilege of running the country’s largest exchange.

Nicky Newton-King, 
Chief Executive Officer
January 2019