As the provider of the central financial market infrastructure in Switzerland and Spain, SIX enables companies and investors the access to the capital market, facilitates the secure and reliable settlement of transactions and ensures the flow of money and information in the economy. In this way, we make a significant contribution to the economic sustainability of our domestic markets.
Our importance for the stability of the economy is particularly evident in times of crisis. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, SIX established an internal “Corona Task Force” that continuously informed SIX staff on the current developments and adopted appropriate measures to protect the well-being of our employees and to safeguard our systemically important infrastructure services. Despite a large part of our staff working from home or in split operations during most of 2020 and in the first six months of 2021, our infrastructures remained stable and available at all times. Fair and orderly stock market trading was thus ensured even in the midst of considerable market turbulence.
In 2020, we were also carefully following the ongoing trend toward sustainable finance. We offer products and services that help our clients meet the associated requirements from stakeholders in this respect. For example, SIX facilitates investments in a wide range of sustainable products such as green, social and sustainability-linked bonds via its stock exchanges in Switzerland and Spain. At the start of 2021 we launched new ESG indices for the Swiss market, and we are currently in the process of further expanding our range of ESG data.
As a key role model for the financial market, we endeavor not least to continuously develop our own corporate responsibility. With regard to diversity, SIX has set itself the clear goal of increasing the proportion of women in management positions to 25% by 2023. With the integration of BME and new hires we progressed to 22% in 2020, but there’s certainly still a lot of room for improvement through dedicated measures. You’ll find more on this and other ESG topics that are material to our organization in this report.
I hope you find it an interesting read. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Jos Dijsselhof, CEO