Transparency and Strong Regulation Pay Off for Emerging Markets

By Oyster Consulting LLC

On July 25 the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was named the “African Regulator of the Year” at the 6th African Business Leadership Forum & Awards, held in London. The award, sponsored by African Leadership magazine, was given to the NSE for its effective regulatory policies and programs implemented across national, regional and international level. These policies and programs have stimulated compliance beyond the legal requirements. Award recipients were nominated as a result of a survey of over 480,000 readers and fans who were asked to name outstanding business leaders and institutions.

Dan Labovitz, a Managing Director at Oyster Consulting’s office in New York, has been a consultant to the NSE since 2011, advising the Exchange on overhauling its rule book and processes for rulemaking and rule interpretation. Nigerian Stock Exchange CEO Oscar Onyema credits Labovitz for helping the Exchange win this recent recognition.

So how did the NSE win this recognition? “Emerging markets looking to attract foreign investment are often burdened by the perception that foreign investors won’t be treated fairly,” said Labovitz. In addition to identifying and promoting local investment opportunities, emerging markets need to demonstrate they are efficient, fair and equitable for all participants. Leadership was also a key factor, Labovitz noted: “Under Oscar’s leadership, and with the support of the Nigerian SEC, the Exchange really embraced transparency and has done the hard work necessary to show that all investors will be treated fairly.”

Labovitz, who had previously headed the Office of General Counsel at NYSE Regulation, Inc., partnered with the exchange’s legal and regulatory team to develop the framework for a “world class rule book,” revise key rules to clearly state regulatory expectations and refine its processes for rule development and interpretation in order to more effectively engage stakeholders. Commenting on the award, NSE CEO Onyema said “This award is a strong affirmation of the audacious reforms we have been implementing to create a fair and orderly market that inspires the trust and confidence of domestic and foreign investors.”

Oyster Consulting can help other emerging and frontier markets apply the model Labovitz developed at the NSE for evaluating, planning and implementing structural changes. In addition to Dan’s experience with rules and regulation, Oyster consultants have substantial expertise in market structure, technology, operations, and compliance. With our cumulative 1,000+ years of experience, we can help market operators and apex regulators to develop an integrated approach to transforming their own markets, so that foreign investors see that their markets are fair, efficient and transparent.

Oyster Consulting congratulates the NSE on this well-earned achievement. For more information on the NSE, Daniel Labovitz and how Oyster Consulting can help your firm or exchange, please call us at (804) 965-5400.

To learn more about the NSE’s change process, click here.

Link to African Leadership magazine

Link to NSE