Future of Capital Markets

The global financial system is undergoing several simultaneous transformations. Digitalization and democratizations are reshaping how capital markets operate. Both investors and corporate issuers have changing needs and expectations, and a range of new actors are joining traditional financial institutions to meet this demand. There are many other systemic issues that pose a risk to global financial stability, heightened by the recent market downturn. The World Economic Forum's Future of Capital Markets Initiative explores how institutions across the capital markets ecosystem can improve trust amid these market shifts and transformations.

Launched in January 2022, Phase I of the initiative focused on the rise of retail investors and democratization of capital markets. In order to enable this new wave of retail investors to grow long-term wealth while fostering a responsible retail investing global investing ecosystem, understanding the market implications of democratization is key. The study considered how the industry could address some of the unintended consequences of what has evolved to date, such as the “meme stock” events of 2021. Finally, it considered opportunities to improve retail investors trust in the capital markets ecosystem. The World Economic Forum, supported by an expert team from Accenture, convened a group of experts to dive into these questions. Insights were also generated from a large-scale survey of 9,000 global retail investors supported by BNY Mellon. The whitepaper details findings and Calls to Action for a range of stakeholders.

Phase II of the initiative will kick off in September 2022. It will look beyond democratization, and consider several other trends reshaping how capital markets operate.

For more information please contact Meagan Andrews (Meagan.Andrews@weforum.org).

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