The ATHEX Legal Chief and General Counsel, Smaragda Rigakou, was among the top 20 “Women Leaders” of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) in 2024.

The distinction is particularly significant, for Smaragda Rigakou – whose official job title is the General Counsel, Head of Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Division, Athens Exchange Group – as the WFE is the global industry group for exchanges and clearing houses (CCPs) around the globe, representing over 250 market infrastructures ranging from those that operate the largest financial centers to those that run frontier markets.

Responding to the WEF March “Focus” issue Smaragda Rigakou said she was inspired by women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a U.S. Supreme Court justice who passed away in 2020, as well as her first manager Alkistis Christofilou.

“Being a woman in our times is a continuous challenge. My journey was more or less similar to that of many a Millennial woman in a male-driven world,” she said.

Smaragda Rigakou made special mention of her mother and grandmother. “My mother, a single parent, and my grandmother have always been my role models as well as my anchor. When in doubt, their take on life helped me time and time again to not give up.”

“The WFE’s Women Leaders initiative aims to shine the spotlight on some of the talented and gifted women in our industry. The industry initiative drew more than 50 senior nominations from every corner of the world as the WFE’s global membership put forward their talented existing, and future, leaders,” the WEF site emphasizes.