Demutualization pioneer Bengt Ryden to receive WFE Award for Excellence

Demutualization pioneer Bengt Ryden to receive WFE Award for Excellence

(Paris, 27 September 2010).  The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) announced that the recipient of the WFE Award for Excellence this year will be Bengt Ryden, former Chief Executive Officer of the Stockholmsbörsen.   Mr. Ryden is designated for this Award in recognition of his groundbreaking judgment and business leadership throughout the public policy review in Sweden from 1988-1992 regarding the question of exchange ownership, as well as then taking the exchange ahead in its new, for-profit corporate form.   After several centuries of exchanges being owned and run as mutual organizations by the intermediary community, the move to make the Stockholmsbörsen a corporation was unprecedented. 

The WFE Award for Excellence is presented annually in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the advancement of regulated exchange markets. The Award salutes innovation and improvement in the exchange industry’s operations, which leads to greater understanding and better usage of the world’s capital markets. 

The Stockholmsbörsen demutualization championed by Ryden pioneered the idea of an exchange as a shareholder-owned corporation. The concept he helped introduce has since become a global standard. Ryden’s public policy review argued that management neutrality amongst all capital markets actors - intermediaries as well as issuers and investors - would be a decisive factor not only in the growth of the regulated marketplace, but also in assuring that the best advantages of this shared common good accrue to society. Later on, the conversion of many exchanges from private to public listed companies has strengthened the value of exchange services for all client groups, while additionally benefitting the industry as a whole. 

The demutualization and listing of most WFE members in the following decades has been a notable endorsement of the value of corporations as business actors. The listed exchanges are now subject to public disclosure requirements, their boards of directors balanced and inclusive of independent oversight. When there are profits, widespread ownership of the shares means that any investor can benefit. 

“The decision by the WFE Board of Directors to honour Bengt Ryden with the WFE Award of Excellence for his introduction of a new governance and ownership structure for exchanges was significant,” said Thomas Krantz, Secretary General of the WFE. “The work he completed in Stockholm twenty years ago has been an inspiration to most of the world’s exchanges in the years which followed. Demutualizations, self-listings and mergers and acquisitions have completely changed the landscape of the exchange industry. ” 

The WFE Award of Excellence will be presented to Ryden on October 12, 2010, during a ceremony at the WFE Annual Meeting in Paris, hosted by NYSE Euronext.  This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Federation, a forum for regulated financial exchanges and key capital market participants to join leaders in business and government in examining issues impacting global capital markets.  

Ryden served as the CEO of Stockholmsbörsen through its merger with OM in 1998 to form OMX, at which time he became a member of the Board of Management and Board of Directors, as well as chairman of several OMX subsidiaries. Ryden also served as Chairman of the WFE in 1995 and 1996. He continues to serve as a director of several prominent financial services firms in Sweden, including, Burenstam & Partners AB, Svenskt Rekonstruktionskapital AB, Onoterat AB ; and as chairman of Nordic Investor Services, Pantor Engineering, and the Seventh Swedish National Pension Fund.  In addition to his public policy review on demutualization of the Stockholmsbörsen, Ryden has authored numerous books and papers on economic research in Swedish and English since the 1960s, including his dissertation, "Mergers in Swedish Industry," published in 1972. He was a member of the Committee of Wise Men advising on the regulation of European securities markets in 2001. 


The World Federation of Exchanges is the trade association for the operators of regulated financial exchanges.  With 52 members from around the globe, the WFE develops and promotes standards in markets, supporting reform in the regulation of OTC derivatives markets, international cooperation and coordination among regulators. WFE exchanges are home to more than 45,000 listed companies. 

Media Contacts:

·         WFE: Peter Clifford, +33 (0) 1 58 62 54 01, or  Sibel Yilmaz, +33 (0) 1 58 62 54 00,    

·         Intermarket Communications: Andrew Yemma, 212-754-5450, or Erica Fidel, 212-754-5448,


Report Date: 
Tue, 09/28/2010