MarketAxess plans to aggressively look for new acquisitions: CEO
Kevin Dugan

MarketAxess plans to aggressively look for new acquisitions: CEO

TS collects more data in greater diversity from more venues to create the digital capital for better execution.

MarketAxess, the largest electronic bond-trading platform in the US, is on the hunt to buy up companies to beef up its data business and make buying and selling debt around the world smoother for traders, Rick McVey, the company’s CEO, told The Post in an exclusive interview.

The $9.3 billion New York company is one of Wall Street’s fastest-growing. Traders in the $41 trillion market use MarketAxess to buy and sell bonds automatically over an electronic system similar to a stock exchange, instead of negotiating with a broker on the phone or through chats.

In January, McVey, who recently married “Good Morning America” co-host Lara Spencer, hired Chris Concannon, a former president of CBOE who’s been instrumental in pushing stock markets to be almost fully automated.

Concannon’s “thinking about potential joint ventures and acquisitions,” McVey said.

MarketAxess plans on being “aggressive” for its next acquisition, and has a war chest of about $400 million — although spending all its cash is an unlikely scenario, an insider said.

”The exchanges have built very big data businesses, which is something that Chris is working on with us,” McVey added.

The focus on data, which McVey said would also be expanded through hiring, reflects how stock exchanges make most of their revenue by collecting data and selling it back to their customers.

“There’s a big, big focus on taking stock of the data,” Kevin McPartland, a bond analyst at Greenwich Associates, told The Post.

MarketAxess is also looking at buying companies in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.

“It is a huge priority here, because you’ve got this massive worldwide fragmented emerging market that we are consolidating into one electronic marketplace for the institutions involved in EM trading,” McVey said.

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