Automation of debt issuance: ICMA references over 45 solutions


10 January 2022 Digitisation of debt issuance continued apace in 2021. ICMA’s latest review of its primary markets technology directory, conducted in Q4 of last year, saw the addition of more than 10 platforms or applications for the issuance of debt instruments. This brings the total number of solutions to over 45, up from 35 in Q4 2020 and more than doubling compared to 2018 when the directory was first launched.

The directory seeks to provide greater transparency in a rapidly expanding competitive marketplace by comparing the key features and capabilities of technology solutions available to automate all or part of the process of issuing debt securities. The scope includes bonds, but also other types of debt instruments such as commercial paper, loans and Schuldscheine. It highlights whether the various solutions are aimed at underwriters, investors, issuers or others, at what stage of the issuance process they can be utilised, supported issuance methods as well as connectivity options.

Key observations:

  • Since the last review in 2020, new technology offerings have targeted in particular bond syndication, seeking to enhance deal-related data management and communication between underwriters and issuers, but also investors.
  • New platforms have emerged to streamline end-to-end issuance workflows, but also to support the issuance, trading and settlement of digital securities based on distributed ledger technology.
  • The directory includes a growing number of auction platform aimed at both public sector and corporate issuers, amongst others.

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