After nine years at the helm of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE), Robert Scharfe has reached the end of his mandate as CEO; on his last day in office, he presented LuxSE’s financial results for the financial year 2020 and the annual Sustainability Report, before handing over the reins to Julie Becker, LuxSE’s new CEO as of 21 April 2021.
Frank Wagener, Chairman of the Board of Directors of LuxSE, commented: “Today is a special day for the Luxembourg Stock Exchange as Robert Scharfe steps down after nine successful years as CEO, and we welcome Julie Becker as the new CEO of the exchange. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Robert Scharfe for his contribution and commitment throughout the years and express the Board’s full support of Julie Becker. We are confident the exchange will continue to flourish under her leadership”.
High activity throughout 2020
The Luxembourg Stock Exchange Group, which consists of LuxSE and its wholly owned subsidiary Fundsquare, reported consolidated revenues of €51.2 million for the financial year ending on 31 December 2020. This represents a revenue growth of 5% compared to the previous year. The EBITDA for the same period was €18.2 million, up 4% from 2019. The group also reported a net profit of €11.2 million, down 17% from 2019, mainly due to non-operational aspects including the performance of the company’s investment portfolio. Given last year’s market developments and high volatility, LuxSE’s investment portfolio performed well in 2020, but did not reach the extraordinary 2019 results.
“2020 was an intense year at our exchange marked by considerable growth in activities, accelerated by the pandemic. We supported our issuers throughout a difficult year, while bringing new products to the market. We can therefore look back at a strong year, with growth in both revenues and EBITDA, which reflect a healthy financial situation and business model, and a good starting point for future growth. I am happy to leave the exchange in a good shape in the capable hands of my successor Julie Becker,” commented Robert Scharfe, outgoing CEO of LuxSE.
As the leading exchange for the listing of international securities, LuxSE saw an uptick in activities in 2020. Sovereigns, public institutions and private companies alike turned to capital markets to raise the financing needed to respond to the far-reaching socio-economic consequences of the crisis. In 2020 alone, LuxSE welcomed 10,797 new securities, raising €1.4 trillion in total. This represents an increase of 4% in terms of the number of new securities listed and 25% in terms of the total amount raised.
In 2020, LuxSE launched an array of new services within the field of sustainable finance, notably the LGX Academy offering courses on sustainable finance to financial professionals and the LGX DataHub, a unique and centralised database of structured sustainability data on more than 3,000 sustainable bonds. These and other developments led the exchange to win the 2020 United Nations Global Climate Action Award.
According to Julie Becker, incoming CEO of LuxSE, sustainability will remain a key priority for the exchange in the months and years to come: “The global pandemic accelerated the focus on sustainability. We will continue in our mission to support the global goals and the ongoing transition efforts by facilitating sustainable investment and contribute to the growth of sustainable finance. Data will play a crucial role in this development, so this is another important area for us. As CEO, I will build on past successes and define our strategic goals around sustainability and digitalisation, to make sure LuxSE remains relevant and a leader in its field”.
Measuring positive impact
As was the case last year, LuxSE published its annual Sustainability Report on the day it announced its financial performance. This report outlines the company’s comprehensive, Sustainable Development Goal-linked corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and the initiatives and activities undertaken in 2020 with a positive social and environmental impact. The report can be viewed at: www.bourse.lu/csr.