Electronification

“Electronification” and The Technology Revolution in Corporate Bond Trading

Very pleased to say TS clients are already saving big bucks from this very innovative Tradeweb initiative. See it in action on the TS stand at the FILS Emerging Markets event on March 11-12th at The Ritz-Carlton Westchester in White Plains, NY


The term of 'Electronification' is thrown around a lot when talking about advances in the corporate bond market. It describes the nascent trend of using technology to trade in a marketplace where the vast majority of trades are still negotiated over the phone. Since electronic execution only accounts for roughly 20% of U.S. corporate trading volume, one might wrongly assume that efficiencies are slow to come by.

But just because a bond isn’t executed electronically, does not mean technology didn’t play a crucial role in getting the trade done.

Five years ago, if you walked by my corporate bond trading desk at one of the largest asset managers you would have seen frantic phone calls, a trader scribbling a price into a notebook, and a portfolio manager skimming through inventory spreadsheets from dealers. To put it simply, corporate bond trading was antiquated.

Today, that desk looks completely different – dare I say, calm even? This is a direct result of the advancements being made throughout the entire trade lifecycle, which we’ve witnessed first-hand at Tradeweb. Regrettably, many of these technology advancements are not quantifiable by industry standard metrics and are often underappreciated in the “Electronification” story.

The term “Electronification” is thrown around a lot when talking about advances in the corporate bond market. It describes the nascent trend of using technology to trade in a marketplace where the vast majority of trades are still negotiated over the phone. Since electronic execution only accounts for roughly 20% of U.S. corporate trading volume, one might wrongly assume that efficiencies are slow to come by.

But just because a bond isn’t executed electronically, does not mean technology didn’t play a crucial role in getting the trade done.

Five years ago, if you walked by my corporate bond trading desk at one of the largest asset managers you would have seen frantic phone calls, a trader scribbling a price into a notebook, and a portfolio manager skimming through inventory spreadsheets from dealers. To put it simply, corporate bond trading was antiquated.

Today, that desk looks completely different – dare I say, calm even? This is a direct result of the advancements being made throughout the entire trade lifecycle, which we’ve witnessed first-hand at Tradeweb. Regrettably, many of these technology advancements are not quantifiable by industry standard metrics and are often underappreciated in the “Electronification” story.

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  • Iseult Conlin

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