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Keeping the Markets Connected: Robert Hughes, VP and Head of Index and Advisor Solutions, Nasdaq Global Indexes

Keeping the market running and connected in unprecedented times is no small feat. At Nasdaq, it takes a team effort to evolve and continue serving the markets. We are highlighting the very people making that possible.

Robert Hughes

We are featuring Robert Hughes, VP and Head of Index and Advisor Solutions, Nasdaq Global Indexes. In his role, he works with and oversees the team that brings the Nasdaq Index business to every corner of the globe. He told us a little bit about how his day-to-day workflow has evolved and what he’s most looking forward to as we safely emerge in a new normal. 

How does your work help to keep the markets running?

One of our key areas of focus and growth comes from supporting the global ETF industry. Working with our asset management and exchange partners around the world, we support the creation and listing of index-based ETFs that today are traded on 23 exchanges in 19 countries. We also take our role as a leading global exchange and index provider seriously and invest heavily in the education of investors and market participants that facilitate the growth and participation of markets around the world.  

How have your priorities shifted in the current remote setup?

It’s interesting, right now, for the most part, our priorities remain the same. In sales and relationship management, our team and our clients are always going to be our focus. However, as the recovery takes hold, gathering essential market feedback that broadens our team’s understanding of the situation on the ground in the countries we operate will definitely take on heightened importance as we look to prioritize our sales and marketing resources.   

What are your biggest lessons learned professionally in a COVID-19 environment?

I think right now we’re still learning and reacting the best we can. This pandemic is really challenging our traditional in-person way of conducting business, and we still aren’t sure about its longer-term effects. I know it may seem a bit corny, but our Client Success mantra has been our guiding light and certainly crystallized my belief that strong relationships that can survive intense pressure and disruption will become more vital to our success over time.       

In your view, why is keeping the markets running during this time crucial?

The realities of the investing public don’t change, and the ability to access liquid markets has only intensified as financial futures are becoming more and more uncertain. Fully-functioning markets are part of the critical infrastructure that allow our clients to build and protect wealth.  

What will your transition to a new normal look like?

Me in an airplane seat! I’m really looking forward to traveling again and reconnecting with our clients and colleagues all over the world. It may take a while, but we’ll get there…my airline status depends on it! 

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