Sell-Side Technology Awards 2020: Best Sell-Side Trading Network—MarketAxess

Sell-Side Technology Awards

It was not long ago that trading fixed-income instruments was primarily done over the phone. Since then, trading technology and automation, in particular, have helped sell-side participants gain efficiencies, reduce costs and improve the quality of their executions. The challenging regulatory environment and the rising cost of doing business have further driven the need for automation. MarketAxess wins this year’s best sell-side trading network thanks to its all-to-all Open Trading platform. The Open Trading marketplace allows dealers to provide and take liquidity, thus allowing them to engage with the market in a way that best suits their strategy and maximizes their ability to manage capital efficiently. 

Christophe Roupie, MarketAxess
Christophe Roupie, MarketAxess

Christophe Roupie, head of Europe and Asia at MarketAxess, says this has expanded the universe of available liquidity. In the first quarter of this year, dealers as liquidity takers on the platform recorded an increase in volume of nearly 60% year-on-year. Dealer-to-dealer volume was also higher by 48% from the previous year at $36.6 billion. “It’s clear, therefore, that dealers are finding dynamic ways to engage with our broad network of over 1,700 active firms, both buy and sell side alike,” Roupie  says. “And a part of that is driven by the efficiency of execution—we saw estimated system-wide cost-savings of $201 million for liquidity takers and $87 million for liquidity providers in the last quarter alone,” Roupie says.

Although the global credit market has been MarketAxess’ traditional focus, the firm is also expanding into rates. It recently completed the acquisition of LiquidityEdge—now MarketAxess Rates—which offers streaming liquidity in US Treasury bonds and complements the firm’s credit offering. It is also looking to build its European government bond solution.  

MarketAxess continues to develop its automation capabilities, particularly in automated trading tools for investor clients and dealers, as well as in the use of algos to drive price responses on the platform. On top of expanding its rates offering, in the next year, MarketAxess is looking to enhance its Live Markets order book, the next phase of the Open Trading marketplace that enables streaming execution on liquid, recently issued paper and actively traded bonds. Roupie says MarketAxess recently ran a pilot project of Live Markets and is building out the streaming capabilities in collaboration with its sell-side partners. 

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