Appetite for new ways to source liquidity and pricing for corporate bonds has returned after the lull of 2018, which saw a concentration of activity on the major platforms.
Last year in Europe, traders had focused on a few platforms as the new Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) regime bedded down. Processing voice trades on platforms has increased their use, albeit to support reporting obligations. The absence of a single post-trade tape of price data, such as the US has with the Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE), means that pre-trade data tools such as Algomi and B2Scan are more popular with firms that have European operations, while asset managers that have US operations are more inclined towards proprietary pre-trade data tools.
In the US, an ongoing consolidation of venues and platforms has reduced the choice of where to trade; in 2017 trading venue Trumid bought rival Electronifie, ITG shut down POSIT FI, and ICE bought Bondpoint from KCG, a platform it will combine with TMC Bonds and ICE Credit Trade in 2019 under a single entity.