ICE Invests In BondLink
Intercontinental Exchange, a leading global provider of data, technology and market infrastructure, announced it has made a strategic investment in BondLink, a financial technology company that provides cloud-based debt management software solutions to governments financing infrastructure in the $4 trillion municipal bond market.
The Series B investment is designed to accelerate BondLink’s growth and product development, including providing a variety of ICE’s market-leading data sets to municipalities as they prepare to issue bonds.
With approximately 75% of all public infrastructure in the U.S. financed by local governments and public utilities, the municipal bond market is critical to the nation’s economic growth, quality of life and safety. It is also very broad with an estimated 60,000 unique issuers, making it challenging and opaque for bond investors of all sizes.
“With issuers spread out across the U.S., the municipal bond market remains very fragmented, and is in need of transparency. Better access to information, data and analytics are essential,” said Lynn Martin, President of Fixed Income and Data Services at ICE. “Our investment in BondLink and the distribution of ICE data directly to the issuer community will provide municipalities with new tools to help efficiently manage the full lifecycle of debt issuance.”
BondLink’s online network connects municipal issuers with bond investors, advisors and other essential market participants. Its issuer platform helps governments engage and attract investors more efficiently, using digital channels to share financial reports, bond financing data, and other information in one central location. BondLink tools also help issuers gauge both market conditions and investor demand as they prepare for a bond sale. These resources will be enhanced with the ICE investment, allowing it to provide its users with critical data such as interest rate yield curves, secondary market trading data, changes in bond evaluations, and other analytics to help inform their debt financing decisions.
“Technology is transforming the bond market, and it’s providing the biggest impact for governments who are under-resourced and need it the most,” said Colin MacNaught, CEO & Co-Founder of BondLink. “We’re moving the bond market forward by working with issuers to help drive their bonds sales, and our technology brings cost efficiencies and additional transparency to the market. We are thrilled to work with ICE and the ICE team. By providing critical market data to issuers, they can better manage their bond programs and be more prepared as they finance new roads and bridges and schools.”
The transaction will not be material to ICE’s earnings or have an impact on capital allocation plans.
The order book was the largest for a sovereign green transaction.
RBC Capital Markets paid more than $800,000 to resolve charges that it engaged in unfair dealing in munis.
Electronification of the municipal bond market also presents a large opportunity.
The success of Northbound trading showed electronic execution is way forward for the bond market.
Investors will be able to better assess the economic stability and creditworthiness of issuers.