While some degree of electronic venue-based trading has existed in the bond markets for more than two decades, the past five-to-ten years has seen rapid growth in both the range and uptake of e-trading platforms and protocols. The main driver of this has been the efficiency gains that come with technological enhancements and automation, whether in seeking quotes, executing trades, or processing settlement. For liquidity providers this opens up more avenues to service their clients’ needs, particularly for low-touch flow, where human interaction adds little value.
As liquidity in fixed income secondary markets has come under ever-increasing pressure, with market-makers less able or willing to support immediacy, many are looking to both established and new venues as a means to source liquidity, connecting with a wider range of market participants, and finding new ways to locate and interact with quotes and axes. Increasing transparency and expanding access can not only support more efficient price formation, but these are also increasingly important considerations in underpinning best execution.
Meanwhile, market regulation has provided a further impetus for the development of e-trading, particularly comprehensive reporting requirements, such as those introduced by MiFID II/R. Moving the pre- and post-trade elements of the transaction cycle onto a platform can facilitate the automation of regulatory reporting requirements, while also enhancing proprietary data capture.
As technology continues to advance, and as new innovators sense opportunities, we can only expect this ongoing digitalization and automation of the bond market ecosphere to continue.
Bond market structure and liquidity are at the heart of ICMA’s work, and that is why in 2015 it took the initiative to map the landscape of bond market electronic trading platforms (ETPs), originally focused on the European bond markets, outlining their capabilities, target markets, and value proposition. This centralised database of venues, solutions, and protocols would be provided as a unique and freely available resource to market participants and stakeholders.
As this landscape continues to evolve, ICMA has undertaken to update this mapping directory on a regular basis, expanding its scope both in terms of regions and solutions, for example including Organised Trading Facilities (OTFs, and, more recently Order and Execution Management Systems (OMS & EMS).
While ICMA believes this Electronic Trading directory to be the most comprehensive of its kind, it is not exhaustive. Providers that are not featured are encouraged to reach out in order to have their offering included in the next update.
Please contact us for further details.
Download the ICMA Electronic Trading directory
(last update: 5 October 2023)
This unique resource is one of several ICMA technology directories available to members and regulators through the ICMA website. Please contact our membership department if you do not know your firm’s login credentials.
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Click here to view the briefing note: Electronic Trading Directory review & ETC member feedback, Q1 2022
- This directory is limited to the following providers: Cash bond electronic trading venues, order management/execution management systems, and bulletin boards with geographic coverage across European and non-European providers.
- The mapping directory compares the capabilities of the different providers, but it does not provide any information on volume, number of trades or market share.
- All providers responded in their own words. ICMA did not modify any wording shared by providers participating in this directory.
- ICMA does not endorse any particular solution or provider. The mapping directory is for reference only and will be updated as and when necessary.
- Providers will be responsible for sending updates to ICMA. The table will be updated as close to real time as possible.
The information and content provided herein have been prepared and provided by third-parties. This information is provided by ICMA to its members for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial or other professional advice. While the information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable, ICMA does not represent or warrant that it is accurate or complete and neither ICMA nor its employees shall have any liability arising from or relating to the use of this publication or its contents.
Director, FinTech and Digitalisation; Secretary to the ICMA FinTech Advisory
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0334