How Tech Can Fuel Inclusive Growth
Every company today wants to make their purpose stand out, showcasing why they exist and how they benefit society. But it's the 'how' that's the hard part. And that's where technology comes in.
At Nasdaq, we work every day to advance inclusive growth and shared prosperity, and our position at the center of capital markets gives us a unique opportunity to deliver it.
But what drives our journey is technology. The technology we use in our business. The role we play in supporting the tech sector. How innovative new services and technologies can expand access to the markets to those people who need it most.
At Nasdaq, we want to apply technology solutions to some of the biggest obstacles to inclusive growth. These barriers fall along a few fundamental lines:
- Lack of understanding of the systemic barriers preventing greater and more equal participation in the economy/markets.
- A lack of consistency and transparency in the data that is driving corporate and investor behavior.
- A more resilient system that upholds integrity and confidence in the fairness of the system
Here's how we are approaching those issues:
1) Understanding allows us to continuously adapt: Through our research partnership with the Aspen Institute and Commonwealth, we sought to understand and identify the systemic barriers that under-represented communities face in their efforts to generate and sustain wealth. We found that too few of the most innovative tech solutions cater to the needs of those who need it most. We believe that firms should design products to meet the needs and preferences of women of color and financially vulnerable populations as intentionally and carefully as any other market segment.
2) Better data improves risk-based decisions for investors and corporates: As companies respond to investor imperatives to measure and report sustainability, they need access to data and tools to power their programs. We're building the capabilities to help them successfully navigate the complex and fast-maturing ESG landscape. For instance, our OneReport tool helps clients simplify the process of ESG data capture, engagement, oversight and disclosure. With our software, corporations streamline their sustainability reporting and entire data management and disclosure process. Our recent board diversity rule provides a consistent framework for companies to publish and benchmark diversity data and will give us a better overall picture of how the general population is represented across corporate America. Many studies have shown that diversity of experience, gender, race, knowledge and perspective means that a company is more capable of seeing the full picture, assessing risk and overcoming challenges with forward-looking, innovative solutions. Our goal is to provide a transparent framework for Nasdaq-listed companies to present their board composition and diversity philosophy effectively to all stakeholders.
3) Safer systems can improve confidence and participation: A safer financial system helps underpin confidence in the markets and, over time, should lead to greater participation. Each year, an estimated $800 billion to $2 trillion is laundered, according to the United Nations. To address this enormous challenge, a next-generation suite of solutions is needed for the fight against financial crime. Nasdaq recently acquired a cloud-based anti-financial crime platform called Verafin to accelerate its role in meeting the challenge. Verafin's technology helps to detect, investigate and report money laundering and financial fraud for over 2000 financial institutions in North America, which strengthens Nasdaq's existing regulatory technology focused on crime in the capital markets. When markets are operating with utmost integrity, they are best positioned to power confidence, participation and, ultimately, economic progress – all of which can lead to better long-term outcomes for our business and for society.
In our position at the center of the capital markets, technology and data, we know that the call to build a more inclusive economy has never been stronger, nor more urgent, than it is today. Our work to increase understanding, enhance data and protect the system is a direct response to this imperative. We're proud to already count many of the country's leading companies, NGOs and thinkers as partners and friends and are looking forward to making an impact now and in the years to come.