News review : Fixed income

LIQUIDNET DEBUTS FIXED INCOME PLATFORM.

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Liquidnet, the institutional block trading network that made its name in trading equities, has launched its Fixed Income dark pool that facilitates direct, peer-to-peer trading of corporate bonds among asset managers in the US, Canada and Europe.

Liquidnet said that it has enrolled more than 120 asset managers, representing a sizable pool of liquidity and portion of assets under management for high yield and investment grade bonds in the US. The trading network enables execution for US and European corporate bonds (high yield and investment grade), emerging market corporate bonds, and European convertible bonds.

The platform has been built with input from Liquidnet’s network of asset managers and leverages its experience in the equities space. Similar to Liquidnet’s equities solution, the Fixed Income dark pool will provide the option for those corporate bond traders utilising an order management system (OMS) to easily have their orders swept into the pool with minimal changes to existing workflow.

In June, the firm successfully integrated seven OMS operators that support direct connectivity as well as striking a partnership with Interactive Data for continuous evaluated pricing to aid in pre-trade transparency and more efficient best execution analysis. In addition to new features, Liquidnet has also expanded its Fixed Income team and expertise with the recent high-profile appointment of Chris Dennis, formerly of BlackRock, as head of US Fixed Income Sales.

“The corporate bond market is desperate for innovation and improved efficiencies, and we’re starting to see several new trading platforms emerge,” according to Kevin McPartland, head of research for market structure and technology at Greenwich Associates. “Greenwich Associates research found that 80% of investors find it extremely difficult to execute large block trades; as such, platforms that can help ease that burden while not causing a shift in the trader’s workflow is a necessary part of the path forward.”

Seth Merrin, founder and CEO of Liquidnet also noted that, “the fixed income market has been woefully underserved by technology and, as concerns about a liquidity crunch continue to rise, it needs a transformation. With close to 15 years of experience connecting asset managers around the world to solve the unique challenges of institutional equities trading, Liquidnet is uniquely positioned to provide a more efficient trading solution and experience that delivers a critical mass of natural liquidity that minimises information leakage and maximises best execution.”

A recent survey of buyside firms-comprising $12.15 trillion in assets under management – conducted by our sister publication, fixed income magazine, The DESK – showed that 58% percent of buyside respondents indicated that they were planning to move to Liquidnet for their fixed income trading.

[divider_line]©BestExecution 2015

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