4 March 2023

40 years of AEX index

Tjerk Westerterp, the first director of the Amsterdam Options Exchange, was the spiritual father of the AEX-index in 1983. The story is that he conceived the outline of the index 40 years ago on the back of a cigar box during a train journey between Liège and Luxembourg. The aim was to trade index options on it and certainly not to develop a barometer of the Dutch economy. Even Westerterp was surprised that the index nevertheless achieved this status in the course of time.

And in a way, that surprise still holds true today. Whereas the first index in 1983 consisted of only 13 Dutch companies, the same applies to the current 25 – partly also foreign – AEX companies: this base is too narrow to properly reflect the Dutch economy. That the AEX index has nevertheless achieved its status as a barometer of the Dutch economy is to this day of great value to the Amsterdam Exchange and also a great credit to its creator: Tjerk Westerterp. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the AEX index, family members of Tjerk Westerterp were invited to open the exchange.