Established in 1971, the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) is now the leading fully electronic offshore securities market. The firm recently won the Most Outstanding Offshore Stock Exchange 2016 as part of the 2016 Global Excellence Awards. We caught up with the firm’s CEO, Greg Wojciechowski who outlines the firm’s achievements and their ambitions for the future.
he BSX specialises in listing and trading of capital market instruments such as equities, debt issues, funds, hedge funds, derivative warrants and Insurance Linked Securities. The BSX has been in existence since 1971 and is based in Hamilton Bermuda. Bermuda is well known to the global financial industry and is the third largest reinsurance market in the world.
In fact, Bermuda’s well respected and regulated financial services platform has contributed to it being considered ‘The World’s Risk Capital’. There are over 750 securities listed on the BSX of which over 300 are offshore funds and 175 are Insurance Linked Securities. Bermuda has emerged as a centre of excellence for the creation, support and listing of ILS structures.
The BSX is a critical component of Bermuda’s domestic capital market. The Exchange provides a regulated market in which buyers and sellers of listed stock can transact business using world class electronic trading, clearing and settlement technology. Trading and settlement occurs daily and is supported by a network of regulated professional financial intermediaries.
What sets the BSX apart from its competitors is their, “longevity in providing a modern, electronic, internationally recognised stock exchange platform to our domestic market as well as our international clients” explains the firm’s Greg Wojciechowski. “The BSX was at the forefront in creating the exchange structure that can be seen in some smaller exchanges” he goes on to say.
“The other key features which set the BSX apart is the commercial sophistication of Bermuda’s commercial platform and Bermuda’s unique geographic location, nestled nicely between two of the largest and deepest capital markets and insurance industries in the world” he adds.
How the business is succeeding While its primary responsibility lies with firmly supporting Bermuda’s domestic capital market and investors, the BSX’s entrepreneurial spirit has led it to evolve as a niche market focussing on specialised areas.
Wojciechowski goes on the develop this point by underlining that one area in which the BSX has excelled and has carved a firm niche is the support of the Insurance Linked Securities space. “The BSX is now the global exchange leader in supporting the listing of vehicles in this very exciting and developing asset class. In fact, the BSX has played a key role in Bermuda becoming known as a centre of excellence for the creation, support and listing of ILS vehicles” he explains.
Client base The firm’s client base is comprised of domestic and international corporations and investors. The BSX has a very robust information dissemination network, website and regularly contributes by way of articles, comment and insight to local and international print and broadcast media.
Greg Wojciechowski then says, “I would like to think they would say that we offer a solid, modern and regulated stock exchange platform that adds value by our well-known brand and reputation. I would say they our clients would say that the BSX takes a commercially sensible approach when dealing with new business while never forgetting its critical regulatory responsibilities to ensure that the market platform maintains international best practice standards.”
The important role of staff cannot be underestimated, Greg Wojciechowski goes on to say. “The BSX team makes what we have achieved possible” he explains. “2016 was a very positive year for the BSX, commercially and organizationally, with some very significant milestones achieved. We are particularly proud of the BSX’s appointment to the Board of Directors of the World Federation of Exchanges, the global association of exchanges and clearinghouses.”
“The accomplishments of the BSX to date and in particular this year’s results are directly attributable to the hard work of a dedicated team of world class stock exchange professionals that manage and operate the Exchange on a daily basis. The BSX team clearly understands the importance of a modern and solid domestic capital market, how the BSX platform is central to this and how all the pieces collectively contribute to the health and development of Bermuda’s economy.”
The BSX team is committed to ensuring that Bermuda’s stock exchange platform remains the leader amongst its peers internationally, while providing global capital market access and solid support for local market users. “The dedication of the BSX team, its level of professionalism and understanding of our business was resoundingly punctuated this year when the BSX was appointed to the Board of Directors of the WFE” Wojciechowski reveals.
Looking ahead to 2017, Greg Wojciechowski underlines that Bermuda and the BSX are well positioned for an excellent 2017. “In respect of Bermuda, June will see a hugely exciting period when the prestigious international yacht race, the America’s Cup Final comes to our shores.”
“In respect of the BSX, as the Exchange has emerged as a solid niche exchange market platform, we will seek to add value and create new opportunities where we can. One very logical area will be to ride the acceleration of the convergence of the insurance and capital markets industries by creating an exchange focussed on insurance products.”
“Whatever 2017 has in store, the BSX given its longevity in the business, deep pool of stock exchange experience, its unique and critical geographic location, the sophistication of the jurisdiction in which it operates and its well know platform, is well prepared to address and take advantage of any new opportunity that comes it way” Wojciechowski concludes.