A seasoned Capital Markets professional, Ms Ashma Zaveri comes with established industry experience and a successful track record of over 15 years. Her core strength lies is in her extensive knowledge of global and Indian capital markets and her strong network with industry stakeholders, particularly with the top leadership of stock exchanges.
The year 2020 will be etched as a watershed era in human history as the COVID-19 pandemic debilitating human lives and economies. The pandemic has led to the greatest ever health crisis of mankind, destabilised GDPs and disrupted businesses, trades, and industries. Global financial markets and the stock exchange industry were also thrown in a state of flurry with the extreme volatility witnessed across global exchanges and stoppage in normal exchange operations due to lockdowns imposed across several nations.
As the world continues to battle the contagion, the pandemic has triggered irreversible changes and given rise to new trends in stock market operations and their dealings, which will go a long way in defining the future of global exchanges.
Fading importance of trading floors
Following the suspension of physical trading due to fear of the spread of Coronavirus infections, most global exchanges have been making efforts to either completely do away or at least “reimagine” their trading floors. Physical trading has been replaced by electronic trading in most of the financial markets, which includes CBOE, CME, NASDAQ and London Metal Exchange. The exchanges which are planning to reopen their trading floors will also be only a shadow of their earlier forms of “bustling” exchanges with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols demanding less crowding and social distancing. To cite an example, in March 2020, New York Stock Exchange had closed its trading floor and moved to all electronic trading for the first time in over 200 years. The exchange reopened after a couple of months, but only up to 50% of its earlier capacity.
The pandemic has been one of the biggest catalysts for the digital transformation of exchanges. It is expected that every modern global exchange will go for greater adoption of innovative solutions and modern technologies to make almost all processes digital and automated. They will develop models to provide data and information on demand for supporting clients to make informed decisions and invest in robust technology platforms to reduce latency, ensure 100% uptime, enabling seamless access to cross-border markets, execute faster high-volume trades, enhance market surveillance, and minimise regulatorily and risk reporting time. This digital transformation will be enabled by the adoption of a host of new technologies throughout the securities value chains such as automation, Artificial Intelligence, advanced analytics, Big Data, Robotics, cloud computing, among others to make exchanges future-ready.
New investment trends
The COVID-19 crisis is fanning new investment trends with a marked change in consumer and investor practices, such as move to online services and products, work from home becoming the accepted norm, reconfiguration and streamlining of supply chains with increased preference for locally sourced and sustainable products, greater awareness about health and hygiene and a changing perspective about urban transportation, hospitality & infrastructure. There is also an increased preference for renewable and green solutions. People are willing to invest in companies that reflect these changes, shunning the traditional sectors which were once popular like airlines, tourism, and hospitality, auto and transportation, etc. Sectors with higher levels of digital transformation will be more resilient to the impact of events like the COVID-19 pandemic, and hence attract greater investor interest against those sectors that are slow adopters of digital transformation.
Growth in ESG investing
With the COVID-19 pandemic exposing the vulnerability of our markets and supply chains, sustainability will be the top priority for businesses across the world. Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) factors as the core principles governing business processes, financial and investment decisions are considered, social, ethical and environment-friendly, and hence more sustainable. Post pandemic, investing into socially responsible impact funds, also known as ESG investing, will become the preferred option for a growing number of investors worldwide. This trend will become more pronounced over the years with greater understanding among investors about the value of adopting a long-term sustainable approach centred around ESG principles and their impact on investment returns.
Stock exchanges globally are passing through a rapid phase of transition, triggered by the ‘Black Swan’ event – the Coronavirus contagion. The period after the pandemic will be marked by several remarkable novel trends in global stock exchanges and across the securities value chain with the rise of new exchanges,new products and new trading practices, greater automation and digitalisation of processes and investors lapping up sustainable investment opportunities in emerging and developed markets.
More About Ashma Zaveri
Armed with expertise in operations & risk management, strategy & financial planning and business development, Ashma Zaveri has successfully stepped into leadership roles in multiple domains and fostered a collaborative culture across organisations. Owing to her background in finance, she has a keen sense for evaluating effectiveness of critical financial processes to create sustainable solutions for delivering business goals.
Leveraging from her global experience of exploring business opportunities and setting up trading and operations in international markets, she played an instrumental role in the establishment of MNCL Global Access – the digital global investing platform of Monarch Networth Group.
As the COO of the new venture, she will steer the crucial functions of the Global Access platform to ensure sustainable, safe and efficient processes for facilitating retail investment in top US-listed stocks.