The market for new-issue debt still relies on phone calls, instant messaging and emails to handle billions of dollars in orders and is one of the last corners of finance to experience a digital makeover. But with corporate bond issuance hitting records above $2 trillion in the first half of the year, traditional methods are proving increasingly unwieldy, prompting calls for more automation.
Liquidnet’s system will allow investors to receive deal announcements and updates as well as place orders and receive allocation and pricing details. The company already runs a platform for trading existing bonds in the secondary market used by more than 1,300 investors who it aims to attract to the new product giving access to the new-issues market. It’s focused on the European corporate bond market and the firm may expand to other regions or add other asset classes later, according to Antoniades.