According to the GPW Group’s CSR strategy, education is the foundation of the general public’s trust in the capital and commodity markets and their institutions. Hence, a key objective of the GPW Group is to foster a culture of investing while raising awareness of the mechanisms of capital and commodity markets in order to encourage Poles to invest their savings and urge companies to raise growth capital on the capital market.
The GPW foundation
The Warsaw Stock Exchange and its subsidiaries – Towarowa Giełda Energii and BondSpot – have for years pursued educational campaigns focused on the capital, commodity and debt markets addressed to school and university students, investors and professionals. To amplify the reach and efficiency of their educational initiatives and to leverage synergies, the GPW Group companies established the GPW Foundation in May 2015.
Knowledgeable investors and other participants of GPW Group markets equipped with the right tools and expertise build market value and credibility while enhancing trust of the general public.
The mission of the GPW Foundation is to develop and adapt the educational offer of the GPW Group including education in financial, commodity and debt markets and broadly understood economics.
The Foundation pursues its mission by organising and implementing school and educational projects for school and university students, investors and professionals active on the financial and commodity markets.
The educational projects and initiatives implemented by the GPW Foundation in 2017 included:
- Go4Poland - Wybierz Polskę! – a programme designed to seek talents among Polish students of foreign universities and to encourage them to work in Polish companies and institutions. In the Programme, the GPW Foundation works with businesses, institutions and student initiatives including student clubs and associations which promote returns of students to Poland to have a career in Polish companies and the public administration. The Programme is open to Polish students and graduates of universities around the world, including students participating in exchange programmes at foreign universities and Polish students from the Polish diaspora who are advanced speakers of Polish. Go4Poland-Wybierz Polskę! is a platform of communication for Polish students and graduates of foreign universities with companies and institutions which offer paid internships. The Foundation initiated the second round of the programme in 2016. The key part of the programme comprised of workshops and the final conference of the second edition took place in July 2017 while internships were offered from June to September 2017. 118 students were winners of the second edition of the programme and the conferences brought together 153 participants.
- School visits to GPW – an online reservation system available on the GPW website allows teachers to manage bookings and confirm dates of school visits at their convenience. Visits include a presentation by a Foundation representative as well as a multimedia demo class for school students. As part of the project, around 5,000 school students in 141 groups visited GPW in 2017. The Foundation’s online database has registered nearly 300 teachers.
- Product training – training offered at the GPW premises by the Foundation in partnership with brokers who are Exchange Members, addressed to existing and prospective investors and other interested parties. The training themes include GPW-listed financial instruments. Seven product training sessions were offered in 2017. In addition, exchange experts presented the exchange and listed instruments at scientific conferences organised by universities across Poland and for groups of students visiting GPW. The product training sessions and initiatives addressed to students reached ca. 1,000 participants.
- Turbo Challenge Game – an educational competition organised in partnership with ING Securities, offering virtual investment of cash in exchange-listed ING Turbo certificates, equities and ETF units. The objective of the competition was to educate investors and to promote exchange-traded structured products. The competition had 1,451 enrolled contestants, of whom 1,308 closed at least one trade during the game.
- Exchange School Online Game (SIGG) – an educational project addressed to junior and senior high school students. The 16th edition of the project was offered by GPW in partnership with the GPW Foundation and the Lesław A. Paga Foundation. SIGG is an online investment game. Students supervised by a teacher appoint teams of 2 to 4 participants. Each participating team has one investment account and a pool of virtual cash. The participants first learn about financial instruments traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (shares, ETFs, futures) and then jointly make virtual transactions in the account. The participants use virtual cash but their orders are executed based on actual buy and sell orders from the market. The goal of each time is to earn investment gains.
The game consists of three steps:
- Step 1: trading in shares and ETFs (20 November 2017 – 5 January 2018);
- Step 2: trading in futures (26 February 2018 – 16 March 2018);
- Finals on the GPW Trading Floor (11 April 2018).
The 16th edition of the project had more than 18 thousand participating students grouped in over 6 thousand teams in 718 schools supervised by 900 teachers.
- Modern Business Management Programme – initiated by the Polish Bank Association, the programme now includes more than 120 universities in Poland. It has a national footprint and reaches thousands of university faculty and students. The programme aspires to raise awareness of the financial market. The GPW Foundation continued relations with the programme organisers and participated in the work of its Consultation Board in 2017. We arranged 27 lectures about long-term investing offered by educators of the Exchange School as well as exchange experts. The lectures reached 1,321 students.
- Competition for MA and BA theses with awards from the President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange – in 2017, GPW opened a new edition of the competition for MA and BA theses about the capital market with awards from the President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The programme encourages students to improve their knowledge about the capital market, its infrastructure institutions and modern financial instruments. The competition is open to authors of theses submitted for a degree in Poland from January to December of the previous calendar year. Fifty theses (33 MA theses and 17 BA theses) were entered in the competition. The winners of the competition were announced on 18 December 2017 at a gala on the GPW Trading Floor.
- Summer Exchange Online School – The GPW Foundation in partnership with the Association of Exchange Investors (SIG) completed a series of online training sessions of the Summer Exchange Online School. Ten training sessions were offered from 5 July to 6 September 2017. The programme was addressed to fledgling investors across Poland. The training participants were 983 unique users. The project featured speakers from brokerage houses that are Exchange Members: Noble Securities, ING Securities, DM BOŚ, DM mBanku, DM BZ WBK as well as the financial blogger Albert Rokicki – longterm.pl. The training sessions had 245 participants on average.
- Grab the Bull by the Horns – Exchange Conference for Secondary School Students – The GPW Foundation and the Stefan Batory Secondary School Community Foundation offered the Exchange Conference for Secondary School Students “Grab the Bull by the Horns” held at the Stefan Batory Secondary School in Warsaw on Saturday, 2 December 2017. The conference introduced students of Warsaw secondary schools to capital markets, the stock exchange and career opportunities in these areas. The Warsaw Stock Exchange and the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP were the event sponsors. The conference was attended by over 100 students and a dozen teachers of Warsaw secondary schools.
- Financial Education Congress – Initiated by four foundations: the Warsaw Institute for Banking (WIB), the GPW Foundation, the Lesław A. Paga Foundation and the Think! Knowledge Society Foundation, the first edition of the Financial Education Congress took place at the PGE National Stadium in Warsaw on 28 March 2017. The event brought together 350 representatives of 100 financial, educational and training institutions and organisations.
The first edition of the Congress featured presentations of experts on latest solutions in financial education, entrepreneurship, long-term savings and investments. The event opened with a debate on “21st Century Consumers – Challenges to Financial Education” with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development, GPW, the Polish Bank Association (ZBP), Citi Handlowy and Deloitte Advisory. The Lesław A. Paga Foundation and the INDEX Science Club offered a debate entitled “First and Foremost: Don’t Lose Money. How to Invest on the Capital Market.” The Congress was accompanied by an exhibition of educational projects of Forum organisers and other institutions.
In 2017, GPW partnered with brokerage houses – Exchange Members to offer national training series:
- Training series Bull Market After Hours and Pension from the Bull Market offered in partnership with DM BOŚ, held in 18 cities across Poland;
- Training series #InwestStory offered in partnership with DM Noble Securities: 9 meetings across Poland;
- Training series Tour de POK offered in partnership with DM mBanku: 15 meetings in the series.
Experts of GPW’s Market Development Department took part in all training series. The training sessions brought together 3,400 participants.
A flagship educational programme arranged by GPW for many years, the Exchange School has been co-ordinated since 2016 by the GPW Foundation under the auspices of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. As part of the Exchange School, the GPW Foundation offers courses at two levels: “101 of Investing on the Exchange” and “Exchange for Intermediate Users”.
The “101 of Investing on the Exchange” programme covers key issues that are practical for beginners. The presentations describe the functioning of the exchange and the course of the trading session, as well as economic factors impacting the exchange, especially economic conditions in Poland and internationally. Key information about investing is offered in presentations focusing on the selection and evaluation of companies, access to financial information, and management of securities portfolios. The programme includes 14 hours of training in 5 modules.
The course “Exchange for Intermediate Users” targets more advanced and active investors. The programme structures and expands their knowledge of derivatives: options and futures available on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, as well as turbo certificates. The presentation of the impact of the economic environment on the exchange introduces participants to understanding and predicting macroeconomic conditions in order to define mid-term investment strategies. The fundamental analysis presentation describes valuation methodologies of companies in selected industries. The technical analysis module provides instruction on how to analyse market behaviour using charts in order to anticipate future market trends.
In 2017, the GPW Foundation started to offer SmartLabs – specialised training including presentations and hands-on sessions addressed to more experienced investors.
The University of Management and Information Science in Rzeszów joined the Exchange School programme in May 2017. The programme has 13 partners across Poland. The GPW Foundation is working to attract more partners.
We completed 13 courses (eight courses “101 of Investing on the Exchange”, four courses “Exchange for Intermediate Users”, and one course “SmartLab: Futures and Options”) with a total of 540 participants in 2017.
The RESPECT Index project is a flagship initiative of the Warsaw Stock Exchange and a part of its educational efforts in support of social responsibility of GPW listed companies and responsible investing in Poland.
Initiated in 2009 as CEE’s first responsible company index, it was the first CSR index on the Polish market and remains a benchmark for listed companies that aspire to serve as a CSR model.
The index portfolio includes companies listed on the GPW Main Market which follow the highest standards of corporate governance, disclosures and investor relations taking into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their business. The companies are audited and the index portfolio is revised once per year in the second half of the year. The index portfolio includes the biggest listed companies participating in the indices WIG20, mWIG40 and sWIG80. The companies are selected in three steps of verification carried out by GPW and the Association of Listed Companies in the areas listed above as well as an audit performed by the project partner since the first edition: Deloitte.
The index requirements take into account the industrial specificity of companies. The survey questionnaire includes questions dedicated to all companies as well as questions for companies which pursue a specific business according to the classification deployed by GPW: Industry, Finance, and Services. The participation of each company in the index is defined on the same terms as for the other GPW indices, taking into account free-float shares, where the weight of the biggest companies is capped at 25% where the number of index participants is under 20 or 10% otherwise.
The RESPECT Index portfolio included between 16 and 25 companies in the eleven editions of the survey, last held in the autumn of 2017. The current index portfolio of the eleventh edition, audited by Deloitte, is comprised of 28 companies, including three new participants: Agora, Inter Cars and mBank, as well as two returning companies: Bank Ochrony Środowiska and Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa. This year’s edition of the RESPECT Index has the biggest number of participants. The index has evolved since its inception. The requirements for companies have been steadily raised to increasingly accommodate trends typical of mature capital markets, meet stakeholders’ requirements, and provide a full picture of the reported ESG factors.
The questionnaire now used to evaluate participants of the RESPECT Index covers the following areas:
- Social – occupational health and safety, human resources management, relations with suppliers, dialogue with stakeholders, social reporting;
- Environmental – environmental management, reduction of the environmental impact, biodiversity, environmental aspects of products and services;
- Governance – strategic management, corporate governance, risk management, fraud management, internal audit and control system, relations with customers.
The eleven editions to date have had more than 40 participants. This year’s edition features three new participants. Eight companies have participated in all of the index editions. They are the market leaders consistently improving on their corporate social responsibility commitments.
Importantly, manufacturing companies are the biggest group of RESPECT Index participants. This year, nearly two-thirds of all participants (17 out of 28 companies) are manufacturers. Eight companies have participated in all of the RESPECT Index editions, including 5 manufacturers. The average score of all participating companies was 62.42 out of 90 points. This was nearly 6 points less than a year earlier, mainly due to changes of the index portfolio with the addition of three new participants, the absence of several regular participants, and minor modifications to the survey questionnaire. The average score by industry was 62.50 points for manufacturers, 63.55 points for financial companies, and 58.04 points for service providers.
The RESPECT Index performance corroborates the fundamental notion of responsible investing whereby investment in companies managed in a sustainable way which respect the environment and the interests of all stakeholders involves lower risk and generates above-average returns. From the first publication of the index on 19 November 2009 to the end of 2017, the RESPECT Index return rate was 89%, compared to return on WIG20 at 62% over the same period.
Performance of the RESPECT Index and WIG [normalised]
Educational initiatives on the commodity market
Towarowa Giełda Energii (TGE) also pursues educational initiatives addressed to market participants in order to develop and promote transparent trade in products offered by TGE and to raise the awareness of the benefits of trade on TGE. Such initiatives are addressed both to market participants and TGE members.
In 2017, TGE offered a series of training programmes and examinations for commodity exchange brokers. The programme prepares candidates for exchange brokers who represent exchange members in trading on TGE markets. Each training ends with an examination. Brokers who pass the exam and get certified are authorised to trade on behalf of exchange members. The series included 11 training sessions and examinations, including 9 on the Exchange Commodity Market and 3 on the Financial Instruments Market. TGE issued 79 certificates to brokers in 2017, including 25 brokers who passed the examination in English.
In 2017, TGE continued its partnership with universities and offered workshops, among others dedicated to the impact of MiFID2 on the commodity and financial markets in Poland.
TGE’s flagship initiative is its partnership with the Lesław A. Paga Foundation in the Energy Academy Project designed to create a platform of exchange of expertise between practitioners with long-time experience in the energy industry and beginners who are starting a career in the industry. In 2017, as part of the Energy Week project organised by the Energy Science Student Club at the Warsaw School of Economics, TGE was a conference partner and hosted a workshop.
In June 2017, TGE in partnership with Izba Rozliczeniowa Giełd Towarowych (IRGiT) organised the tenth edition of the Trading Forum as a platform for the exchange of opinions and development of new solutions in collaboration with direct participants of the markets operated by TGE. The three-day event featured discussion panels, presentations and integration activities.