Since posting the story "BondDesk Gives Odd-Lot Fixed Income Marketplace an Institutional Makeover", I received a few comments disputing that BondDesk was the first ATS to focus on odd-lot executions. I am not qualified to make this judgment on my own so I'd like to share with you what folks had to say.
One reader who posted a comment, said: "This is incorrect. BondExpress, BondTrac and ValuBond were the first to focus on odd-lot bond executions." ( I went to BondExpress's Web site and learned that t became part of ValuBond in 2002. I also learned that BondTrac Information is a Web-based direct-counterparty financial information provider based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. BondTrac, which began in 1996, provides fixed income offerings and analytics to financial and investment companies.)
In response, BondDesk issued the following statement:
"BondDesk was a pioneer in electronic bond trading platforms. Its predecessor was BondExchange, founded in 1995 as a technology vendor, providing technology for online fixed income trading. After the Securities and Exchange Commission passed its regulation on alternative trading systems in 1999, which defined exchange activities, BondExchange became a broker-dealer in October 1999 and restructured to become BondDesk and MuniGroup (now just BondDesk).
Today, BondDesk is by far the leading retail broker platform in the odd-lot marketplace. Other companies may have also been involved in odd-lot bond execution (via bulletin board or other methods) in the early days of electronic trading, but BondDesk was the first to successfully market an easy to use and full featured (ATS) retail broker platform."
Meanwhile, a second reader who sent an email to me commented that BondDesk's entry into the institutional market is nothing new, noting that "TheMuniCenter has been soliciting and trading with the buy-side, in a completely live and anonymous environment, since it became a broker-dealer in 2002." The reader suggests that that other fixed-income ATS's are adopting the anonymous trading model after offering a fully-disclosed model to the buy-side failed.
What can we learn from this? Competition is alive and well in the fixed-income trading marketplace and those who are in the retail adviser end of the marketplace are probably also thinking of going institutional if they have not done so already. Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio