FEAS with FEAS: Interview with Dr. Konstantin Saroyan | Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges

Tuesday, 29 December 2020


The year 2021 is fast approaching. FEAS Secretary General Dr. Konstantin Saroyan and Deputy Secretary General Ms. Armenuhy Hovakimyan gathered to discuss the year 2020, all challenges and opportunities faced by FEAS, what has changed during this year and what are the plans for the upcoming year 2021.

FEAS year 2020 in 32 minutes. 

Armenuhy: 2020 was a hard year for everyone, but there is a saying that “every cloud has a silver lining”, which means, it is still good in bad things. How was the year 2020 for FEAS in general, let’s talk about what new things the pandemic taught us and let’s share some lessons learned from 2020.

Dr. Saroyan: When it comes to 2020, in general, I will characterize with full of uncertainty, full of fear. And, of course, with the lockdown, full of desocializing which made us think differently.

From the good things, we revised the way how we operate and manage our daily activities. So, we moved to the kind of a hybrid format. Despite all the concerns at the beginning we had very efficient results.

Armenuhy: What about future events of FEAS? We did a lot of online ones in 2020, what do you think about hybrid events?

Dr. Saroyan: We are always keeping in the mind that there should be an opportunity for the people we want and can meet physically, while for the others we would also like to give the best option. That is coming to hybrid events. The challenge here is how to make remote participants feel full engagement and here were will try to find the solution, when remote participants will not only be passive viewers but active participants of the discussions.

Let’s see how we can manage that. I believe that with our team we will do that.

Armenuhy: In these difficult times FEAS even managed to have a membership expansion. Sydney Stock Exchange and Iranian Institutional Investors The association joined the Federation. Let’s speak about: what is it to be a member of FEAS?

Dr. Saroyan: Members and the relations with the members is the main and ultimate goal for us. We had our farthest member this year, the Sydney Stock Exchange and this was also a result of becoming comfortable with remote engagement.

The mission of the Federation is to support its members in developing local and regional capital markets. Though, the development itself is a collection of goals that we should achieve, such us: exchange and sharing the information, knowledge transfer (training, discussions, webinars), researches, networking.

Members and the relations with the members is the main and ultimate goal for us.

When it is coming to the membership, I think, for small exchanges it will be extremely useful to join the Federation and use the opportunity to suggest the agenda.

The customized approach is the base and FEAS’s comparative advantage.

Welcome to FEAS!

Armenuhy: Let’s talk about our strategy. What do you think, will we change something there as we had the experience of the pandemic?

Dr. Saroyan: In general, we are not going to change our main directions but we should reorganize how we are moving with that moving more and more to the online solutions.

The most important focus should be on marketing, which is underestimated in our industry, and especially on social media marketing. This is our main message for 2021 to FEAS members and friends!

Armenuhy: So, to sum up, it is all about financial literacy and marketing, especially social media marketing.

And the last question, in your personal opinion, what will life look like after COVID-19 pandemic? What are the major challenges that humanity will face in the near future?

Dr. Saroyan: Our future, again, with one word is uncertainty. And this uncertainty is not only about the pandemic, but black swans that are happening not that seldom including economic and financial crises. The cycles became shorter and the time period between them also became shorter.

Which means that building a strategy for a longer period will not be efficient. Strategic thinking should be changed. Of course, we should have goals ad KPIs, both mid-term and long-term, but the ways how we design and achieve those goals should be flexible.

The next thing is education! Not only related to Covid, but in general. The populism is increasing in the World, all the complications related to the fake news are becoming more and more severe which brings people to a quite difficult situation. This is a big problem and challenge for everyone, for the society, for humanity. The challenge is how to base your life on the facts. The only solution is education, not only the higher one but starting from the basic ones. We should focus on higher education, secondary education and elementary education. Which is not a short-term project but we should start. Of course, financial literacy a the part of the education. As a Federation, we also should focus more on financial education.