Cboe Global Markets

Exchanging Perspectives: Highlights from a Thoughtful Conversation with Industry Leaders

March 30, 2021

On March 25, Cboe’s Laura Morrison, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Listings, hosted Cathie Wood, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of ARK Investment Management, Jan van Eck, President and Chief Executive Officer of VanEck Associates Corporation, and Kevin O’Leary, Chairman of O’Shares ETFs, for a lively conversation about the financial industry today and current events that may impact the market in 2021. The dynamic group shared their perspectives on what may be ahead in 2021, the rise of cryptocurrencies and retail trading, the post-pandemic market outlook and more.


The conversation kicked off with participants sharing their insights about what’s next for 2021. Our panelists shared that they are focused on a new market dynamic coming into play, wealth preservation and changing rates.


Cryptocurrencies have been in the spotlight once again in recent months, and Wood, van Eck and O’Leary are taking note.

As his company awaits approval for its VanEck Vectors Digital Assets ETF, van Eck emphasized that the ability to earn interest on bitcoin is a game changer. He believes the evolution will draw capital into the ecosystem.

Wood shared that ARK Investment Management’s clients first gained exposure to bitcoin in 2015 when the asset class had just a $6 billion market cap. Now, she says, there is finally enough liquidity for an ETF, which she believes will drive the asset class forward. From her perspective, bitcoin is the first truly new asset class since equities were introduced in the 1600s.

O’Leary explained his shift in favor of cryptocurrencies by simply saying, “When facts change, I change.” Originally, regulators were not supportive of crypto, so O’Leary did not see it as a viable asset class. Now that more regulators are coming on board, he sees potential in the growing market. However, he believes there are a number of ethics and sustainability issues that need to be addressed in order for cryptocurrency to continue to grow.

Retail Trading

When the conversation shifted to retail trading, each participant shared their enthusiasm for the burgeoning group.

In van Eck’s view, “good investment ideas are not the monopoly of Wall Street.” Rather, they can be found on social media, message boards and more.

Wood recognizes that Millennial and Gen Z retail participants may be experimenting with trading apps and platforms, but that they love learning, which gives these new traders a great advantage. “Don’t underestimate this group of people,” she says. “They are more progressive than the institutional investors.”

O’Leary shares a similar view, highlighting that there are protections in place to keep retail traders from taking positions that carry too much risk. However, van Eck notes, there are valid concerns of market manipulation that need to be addressed.

The Post-Pandemic World

To wrap up the conversation, Morrison asked the participants to share their thoughts on what a post-pandemic world looks like. The consensus? Different and digital.

Interested in hearing more from this dynamic group? Watch the full replay of the Exchanging Perspectives webinar. And be sure to check out Cboe’s education calendar so you don’t miss another opportunity to hear from industry leaders and experts.

“The views of third-party speakers and their materials are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Cboe Global Markets, Inc. or any of its affiliates (collectively Cboe). Third party speakers are not affiliated with Cboe. This presentation should not be construed as an endorsement or an indication by Cboe of the value of any non-Cboe product or service described in this presentation.”