2015 Outlook: Mark Monahan, MTS Markets
Mark Monahan is CEO of MTS Markets International, a European electronic fixed-income trading-platform operator and a unit of London Stock Exchange Group.
What were the major themes of your business in 2014?
From an industry perspective, the two biggest trends were the slow but steady acceptance of electronic credit trading as well as the globalization of fixed income markets. Both of these market shifts will certainly continue to be at the forefront in 2015.
For London Stock Exchange Group and MTS Markets International, Inc., 2014 was an unprecedented year as we gained firm traction in the US marketplace. As you know, while MTS Group has been a major player for over 25 years in the European fixed income space, we only established our international presence in North America in late 2013 so that US institutional investors could tap into our diverse network of major European bond dealers. The highlight of the past year was our acquisition of Bonds.com, which has been in operation in the US for over five years, has more than 600 US buy- and sell-side institutions on its credit trading platform, and provides an entirely anonymous environment for live, executable all-to-all trading. This acquisition, which was announced last March and closed in May, allowed MTS to penetrate the US Credit market virtually overnight. This business also complements our BondVision ATS Rates offering that launched earlier in the year.
What are your expectations for 2015?
Going forward, for MTS Markets International it’s all about executing against our strategic business plan to not only continue growing US market share but, more importantly, seamlessly serving the needs of our clients. In fact, since we added a substantial list of new clients over the past year, our principal focus is to ensure that we address their needs as well as those from our existing institutional base in odd lot Credit trading. In addition, for Rates we now have many new buy-side clients and we will formally launch trading on a RFQ basis. Moreover, we will strive to provide further enhancements to our technology platform to improve offerings and the user experience. Finally, we fully expect too see a significant increase in demand from clients for quality market data.
On a macro level, the industry must continue to confront multiple issues ranging from an ongoing liquidity crisis to regulatory developments in US and Europe. For MTS, the best way to help our clients is to allow them to trade from wherever they want using whatever protocol suits them best. All in all, it’s an exciting time to be in this industry and we look forward to partnering with our market participants in the year ahead and beyond.