MarketAxess, operator of an electronic trading platform for fixed income securities and provider of market data and post-trade services for global fixed income markets, is developing a platform designed to reduce the manual workload of portfolio trades and improve competitive pricing.
As a result of feedback from clients performing portfolio trades, an uptick in portfolio trading across the fixed income market, and growth in fixed income ETFs, MarketAxess plans to launch a portfolio trading solution in the autumn of 2019. Feedback stated that portfolio trades were based on spreadsheets, then emailed to appropriate parties, a predominantly manual process.
John Keller, ETF product manager at MarketAxess, says: “Right now, the way portfolio trades are happening is that they’re generally on spreadsheets that are built by traders at asset management firms and are then emailed to one or more broker dealer requesting prices back on the entire portfolio. If they’re sent to more than one dealer, as the responses come in, they’re copied and pasted from individual spreadsheets to a master spreadsheet with price and spread comparisons. If any line items are countered, spreadsheets are emailed back again, so it’s a very manual process.”
The company’s portfolio trading platform will automate manual processes, which will increase speed and reduce potential for error. In terms of competitive pricing, the platform will enable clients to show their portfolios to more than one counterparty. The nature of time-consuming manual processes means clients are often limited in the number of counterparties with which they can share spreadsheets.