06.15.2022

Electronic Trading of Syndicated Loans and CLOs to Launch

06.15.2022
Shanny Basar
Electronic Trading of Syndicated Loans and CLOs to Launch

Citi and Bank of America, joined by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Moody’s Analytics, announced the launch of Octaura Holdings (“Octaura”), an independent company whose goal is to create the first open market electronic trading platform for syndicated loans and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). Built in collaboration with Genesis Global, the low-code software development platform for financial markets, Octaura aims to provide comprehensive trading solutions with natively integrated data and analytics. The Octaura venue for loans will launch first, with the CLO trading venue to follow. The company then plans to expand to other products in the credit market.

Octaura began as a joint incubation and co-development initiative between Bank of America and Citi, within its SPRINT (Spread Products Investment Technologies) team. Citi’s internal Velocity CLO eBidding platform and BofA’s Instinct Loan Match platform improved efficiency, liquidity and transparency for users and were the inspiration for Octaura. With support from eight leading participants in the syndicated loan market and the CLO space, Octaura has the technology, resources and scale to deliver market-changing enhancements to the way syndicated loans and CLOs trade.

Industry veteran Brian Bejile has been named Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Octaura. Previously, Brian spent more than 18 years with Citi, rising to Global Head of CLO Issuer Management, a combined offering across syndicated loan trading, financing and securitization. Most recently, Brian was instrumental in the ideation and co-development of Octaura.

“Octaura’s aim is to blend definitive action in financial markets and a bold vision for the future of global credit trading,” said Bejile. “The secondary markets for trading syndicated loans and CLOs have not significantly evolved since syndicated loans first started trading over thirty years ago. When we launched CLO eBidding on Citi Velocity, we saw a 50 percent jump in bid volume in the first week. With that, the idea for Octaura was born.”

The launch of Octaura’s cutting-edge technology arrives at a time of unprecedented growth in the CLO and syndicated loan markets, which have doubled in size over the last decade to more than $1 trillion and $1.4 trillion in outstanding notionals, respectively. Octaura will provide electronic trading protocols for price negotiations, Straight Through Processing (STP) for trade booking, and data and analytics functionality supplied by Moody’s Analytics for the first time in one cohesive solution. Deepening the well of liquidity will reduce barriers to entry for a substantive portion of the investor base and benefit both the primary and secondary markets going forward.

For additional information and updates, please visit octaura.com.

Statement from the Founding Members

Brian Carosielli, Co-Head of Global Credit Trading at Bank of America, said, “With the launch of Octaura, we are proud to be moving our industry in a direction that will bring greater liquidity, efficiency and ultimately attract a broader investor base to the syndicated loan and structured credit markets. As a major player in the credit markets, we are able to innovate across the credit ecosystem, a continuation of the tried-and-true technology that we used with Instinct Loans in 2016 as the first and only dealer led trading platform for syndicated loans.”

Mickey Bhatia, Head of Global Spread Products at Citi, said, “Octaura was ideated, incubated, and executed through active collaboration with Citi’s traders to effectively build a solution that addresses the myriad challenges endemic to current market structures. In line with our ecosystem-based approach to innovation at Citi, Octaura will be of profound impact to all subsectors of the syndicated loan and structured credit markets, as the tenets of automation, digitalization, and centralization stand to enhance every aspect of the trading process.”

Daniel Ezra, Global Head of CLO Trading at Credit Suisse, said, “As a market-leading credit franchise in the industry, Credit Suisse is pleased to help further innovate the CLO and loan markets, with an eye toward all structured credit products. We believe that Octaura and the electronification of these asset classes will help reduce operational risks by eliminating manual components, ultimately making the overall market more efficient.”

Adam Berry, Managing Director, Head of US Bank Loan Trading at Goldman Sachs, said, “Goldman Sachs looks forward to Octaura positively impacting the client experience, operational efficiency, and market liquidity in the loan and CLO markets. We believe these markets stand to benefit substantially from market structure modernization.”

David Little, Head of Structured Finance at Moody’s Analytics, said, “At Moody’s Analytics, we believe in leveraging technology and our proprietary data assets to help customers make better decisions faster. Since 2017 we have collaborated with Citi on their CitiVelocity platform and we are looking forward to working with all Octaura market participants as the natively integrated structured finance data and analytics provider.”

John Gally, Head of Leveraged Finance Sales and Trading at Morgan Stanley, said, “Innovation is the catalyst to transform the Loan and CLO market from analog to digital, and we are excited to be a part of Octaura’s efforts to help shape the future of the Leveraged Finance ecosystem. Improvements in efficiency and transparency will increase liquidity, reduce friction from the market and benefit all participants.”

Jennifer Doyle, co-head of Structured Products Group, Wells Fargo Corporate & Investments Bank, said, “Wells Fargo is pleased to be part of this launch, which brings electronic trading to the structured credit market. We support the benefits this brings to trading in the syndicated loan and CLO markets and beyond, including improved efficiency, liquidity and transparency.”

Source: Octaura

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