Who is automating the primary bond markets? ICMA publishes new edition of technology directory


2 October 2020 In light of a rapidly expanding competitive marketplace, ICMA is publishing the third edition of its primary markets technology directory. It was initially launched in 2018 and seeks to compare the key features and capabilities of technology solutions available to automate all or part of the process of issuing debt securities. The directory now references a total of 35 technology solutions, up from 28 in last year’s review.
This unique directory comprises new technology offerings, as well as new features of previously included solutions. It helps compare the different solutions and understand whether they are aimed at underwriters, investors, issuers or others, at what stage of the issuance process they can be utilised, the scope of debt instruments and supported issuance methods. The latest edition also includes a new search filter to identify solutions more easily based on product focus.
Key observations
New solutions, expected to go live in Q4 2020, are targeting the new issue process of syndicated bonds, aiming to enhance workflow and streamline communication between issuers, banks and investors, and enable connectivity to order management systems. Straight-through-processing appears to be a key theme also for private placements, as evidenced by new functionalities of platforms, for example, to automate the creation of final terms, or by extended connectivity options. The number of platforms for the issuance of Schuldscheine has further increased and in some instances, the product scope has been expanded to bonds, or sustainability-linked debt instruments.
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This initiative complements ICMA’s directories of Electronic Trading Platforms, Repo Trading technologies and FinTech solutions for repo and cash bond operations.
The directory does not constitute an exhaustive list of providers in the market. Relevant providers that are not yet covered by the mapping directory and wish to join are very welcome.
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