From its new headquarters in Zurich-West, SIX Group not only sets the standards for, and operates most of the Swiss market infrastructure, it also influences beyond the borders of the alpine country. Situated in new premises at Hardturmpark in Zurich-West since May 2017, SIX Group operates a competitive infrastructure for the Swiss financial centre, catering to a broad, international client base with its four business areas: SIX Swiss Exchange; SIX Securities Services; SIX Financial Information; and SIX Payment Services. In combination, these business areas provide a comprehensive range of services across securities transactions, financial information processing and cashless payment transactions.
Set up for a best-in-class service
The group itself is an unlisted public limited company, owned by around 130 national and international financial institutions, who are also the main users of the services provided by SIX and its divisions. SIX is subject to Swiss financial market regulation and assumes core tasks for the financial centre under the supervision of the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.
SIX Payment Services is the group’s card-processing market leader in its native Switzerland, but also in Austria and Luxembourg. Everything in the business area revolves around cashless payment transactions. With the latest terminals, secure e-commerce solutions and supplemental services, SIX Payment Services ensures efficient payments at any point of sale, online or offline. SIX Payment Services is one of Europe’s largest transaction processors, lending support to financial institutions with the handling of their entire card portfolio. It also provides card issuers with an efficient and secure payment procedure as well as card acceptance for transnational card programmes.
SIX Financial Information is the global provider of reference data serving the financial industry. It gathers data in real-time from over 1,500 global sources to then aggregate and enrich it to deliver a data universe of more than 23 million instruments, covering a broad base of asset classes. SIX Financial Information combines local expertise with global reach to offer value-added services for asset servicing and administration, middle office, investment advisory and portfolio and fund management clients.
SIX Securities Services provides a range of post-trade services that play a key role for Switzerland’s financial market infrastructure. As a central counterparty for securities transactions, SIX Securities Services assumes key risk management functions in clearing for the Swiss financial centre and for international exchanges as well as alternative trading platforms. SIX Securities Services additionally operates the platform for the electronic processing of land registry and mortgage transactions, as well as a trading platform for the monetary transactions of the Swiss National Bank and the settlement of interbank payments.
SIX Swiss Exchange is one of Europe’s most important exchanges, and Switzerland’s leading trading venue. It offers outstanding liquidity in trading of Swiss securities and connects companies from around the world with international investors and trading participants. SIX Swiss Exchange multiplies the locational advantages of the Swiss financial marketplace with first-rate services and is an ideal listing location for companies of every origin, size and sector. It distributes its own range of indices, including Switzerland’s most important blue-chip index, the SMI (Swiss Market Index). With the world’s most advanced trading technology X-stream INET as well as a wide array of connectivity options and interfaces, SIX Swiss Exchange offers excellent trading conditions. It maintains a close dialogue with both its domestic and foreign customers, to create optimal conditions for their success. Furthermore, SIX Swiss Exchange offers customers access to a strong global network, which includes the market data provider SIX Exfeed Ltd and the fund database Swiss Fund Data.
The self-regulatory regime enables SIX Swiss Exchange to create particularly market-oriented framework conditions for listing and trading in its highly liquid segments equities, bonds, ETFs, ETPs, sponsored funds, sponsored foreign shares and structured products.
Building on success: the Swiss Value Chain
Since 1996, the Swiss Value Chain – trading, clearing, settlement and custody – has enabled the straight-through processing of trading in a security executed on SIX Swiss Exchange. Several process steps are necessary until the securities purchased have been entered into the buyer’s custody account and the payment has been credited to the seller’s account. SIX manages the entire value chain from order entry through to central safekeeping. The Swiss Value Chain was an absolute first in the mid-1990s and is still one of the most secure and reliable systems worldwide today.
Open for European investors
Together, the four divisions build the backbone of the Swiss financial market infrastructure, and influence and operate far beyond the Swiss borders. A recent example shows how SIX Swiss Exchange is adapting to regulatory changes and investor demand: between December 2016 and January 2017, SIX Swiss Exchange consulted its market participants on proposed changes to the SMI to comply with the ESMA UCITS regulation. As a result SIX Swiss Exchange is now adapting the SMI to comply with the European requirements and to meet market demand. By reshaping the SMI in line with the ESMA UCITS regulation, SIX opens its flagship index to a broader European-based investor. Once compliant, the products and assets under management linked to the SMI are expected to grow significantly. ETF providers and issuers of structured notes will be able to use the index in products sold in Europe. Adopting the new regulation and reshaping the SMI is a boost for any European investor or product manufacturer seeking exposure to the Swiss market via derivatives, structured products or ETFs.
Gearing up for the future
SIX Group and its divisions bear great responsibility for the Swiss financial industry. In order to remain at the forefront of innovation, SIX Group also supports the growing Swiss fintech scene. Thanks to the comprehensive SIX infrastructure, Switzerland is already now one of the highest-competitive financial centres in the world. The group has set the target of further strengthening the fintech scene in Switzerland and, in doing so, helping the financial centre continue to constantly innovate and move forward.