What Is the World Federation of Stock Exchanges (WFE)?

The World Federation of Stock Exchanges, more commonly known as the World Federation of Exchanges, is an international trade group that supports the interests of regulated securities exchanges around the world and promotes widespread access to financial markets and the safety and soundness of the global financial system.

Key Takeaways

  • The World Federation of Exchanges, located in London, represents more than 250 different exchanges and clearinghouses.
  • The WEF also plays a role in facilitating the spread of ideas and best practices throughout the financial services industry.
  • WFE exchanges are home to 53,000 listed companies, and as of 2019, WFE members had a total annual trading volume of $88 trillion.

Understanding the World Federation of Stock Exchanges (WFE)

The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) is located in London, the United Kingdom. The WFE is an industry group and private company that was established in 1961, and today represents more than 250 different exchanges and clearinghouses.

The WFE's members are represented in the following regions of the world:

  • Asia-Pacific: 35% 
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA): 45% 
  • Americas: 20% 

WFE exchanges are home to nearly 53,000 listed companies, while the annual trading volume that passes through WFE members equals $88 trillion as of 2019.

Member exchanges include the following:

  • Australian Securities Exchange
  • B3 - Brasil Bolsa Balcão
  • BME Spanish Exchanges
  • Bolsa Mexicana de Valores
  • CME Group
  • Cboe Global Markets
  • China Financial Futures Exchange
  • China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Ltd.
  • Deutsche Börse AG
  • Hochiminh Stock Exchange
  • Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
  • Korea Exchange
  • London Stock Exchange Group
  • Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd.
  • Nasdaq
  • National Stock Exchange of India Limited
  • Shanghai Futures Exchange
  • Shanghai Stock Exchange
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange
  • Singapore Exchange

Goals of the World Federation of Exchanges

The World Federation of Exchanges aims to be the most important global advocacy group for companies around the world that facilitate the trading of financial assets. Because the financial services industry is heavily regulated, and because those regulations can differ greatly from country to country, the primary goal of the group is to advocate for smart regulation that is harmonized across borders.

The WFE also seeks to provide value to its members through the dissemination of vital information to the industry, and by convening meetings where members of the industry can share information and network. To this end, the World Federation of Exchanges stages several events each year, including The WFE General Assembly & Annual Meeting, which is held each year by one of its member organizations.

Benefits of the World Federation of Exchanges

The World Federation of Exchanges provides a number of different services for financial market participants. It publishes a wide array of statistics on securities markets, as well as more than 350 market indicators.

The WEF also plays a role in facilitating the spread of ideas and best practices throughout the financial services industry. It often convenes forums, debates, and conferences where industry participants can discuss important issues in financial market structure, like cross-border regulation or high-frequency trading, which is a high-powered, computerized system of trading.

The WFE also publishes numerous statistics, many of which are contained in its Annual Statistics Guide. Market participants can find in the guide such valuable information as the total market capitalization of companies listed on various stock exchanges, the total value of bonds issued across the globe, or the total notional value of derivatives being traded in specific markets.

Derivatives typically derive their value from the underlying asset or security such as a stock. It also maintains a database on initial public offerings (IPOs)—which a new equity issuance—made on member exchanges. The WEF is governed by a board of directors, which meets three times per year to oversee the management of the organization.