People wear protective face masks outside Nasdaq in Times Square as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 22, 2020 in New York City. The fourth phase allows outdoor arts and entertainment, sporting events without fans and media production. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
November 10, 2020
Lauren Dillard, executive vice president and head of global information services at Nasdaq, spoke with Cheddar just before the closing bell Monday after a record-breaking day on Wall Street, as news of a coronavirus vaccine coming before the end of year sent markets soaring.
The Nasdaq executive and former head of the investment solutions segment at The Carlyle Group emphasized the importance of education as new retail investors crowd into the market via popular platforms such as Robinhood.
"We've certainly seen an increase in retail investing," she said. "We at Nasdaq, as one of the most liquid markets in the world, like to see market participants, but what's been important is education."
As a result of this influx, Nasdaq recently launched Smart Investing, an educational platform designed to help new investors learn the ropes. The goal is to keep them in the market for the long-term rather than burning out due to frustrating or costly mistakes.
"We want these new generations of investors to stay in our markets, to have a good experience, and to stay in for the long-term," Dillard said. "That's actually part of Nasdaq's purpose, is to broaden the participation in our markets."
She noted that providing fast, transparent, and "liquid" data is also key to retaining investors, particularly those steeped in technology.
Nasdaq this year built the NextGen Data Solutions platform to provide real-time data on prices, fund information, and other data sets. The index is pitching the platform to fintech companies looking for reliable market data to develop apps and other financial resources.
"It's important for us to respond to clients, and many of our new clients were born in the cloud," she said.
Looking ahead at the political changes coming to the U.S., Dillard said Nasdaq plans to remain consistent through any transition.
"Fundamentally we've been operating with both types of administrations, and we see that continuing," she said. "It's our job to have resiliency through volatile markets, provide data, keep investors in the market through that time, and that's what we're really focused on."
Headline updated November 10, 2020 at 4:15 pm ET to note Dillard is an Executive Vice President at Nasdaq.