Platform Profile: Bloomberg
George Harrington is global head of fixed income, currency and commodity trading at Bloomberg LP
1. Assess the state of your corporate bond trading platform – what were the primary milestones/accomplishments over the past year?
Our goal is always to provide our clients with insight and analytics that help them make the most informed investment decisions and execute on them in the most efficient way possible, across the entire trading life cycle. For instance, this year we introduced several new and enhanced tools and protocols to the Bloomberg Fixed Income Trading (FIT) platform; among these are BOLT (RFQ list trading), ALLQ (single security trading), BBX–DI (dealer intermediated crossing engine) and Executable IMGR (bilateral negotiation).
We are constantly investing in innovative technology for a marketplace that is becoming faster, more regulated and more complex. The execution services we have introduced have added power because they are integrated into Bloomberg’s financial news, data and analytics and fit seamlessly into our customers’ workflow.
2. What end-user/buy-side challenges are you addressing, and how?
Our customers constantly talk with us about their need for trusted data and versatile trading platforms. They need information and tools to help develop and price trade ideas, source liquidity and score best execution. Our offering is a one-stop shop for all credit needs: CDS and corporate bond trading, analytics, news, portfolio management, communication, and security selection tools.
We have enhanced protocols to promote price discovery and updated our Fixed Income Trading (FIT) platform tools to encourage participation and provide better access to liquidity. And we have established connectivity with OMS systems– including Bloomberg AIM–to help increase ease of integration and achieve best execution requirements. Also, Bloomberg users do not incur additional fees to execute corporate bond transactions on the FIT platform, lowering their cost to trade.
3. What are your key current initiatives?
Our corporate bond business strategy is evolving in anticipation of our clients’ needs as they grapple with market and regulatory constraints. Three of our key initiatives are:
– broadening the suite of available trading protocols to provide the buy-side with the largest liquidity pool possible, and engaging with the sell-side to obtain the largest number of inquiry responses
– expanding CDS offerings to include electronic trading of Single-Name CDS
– helping customers prepare for MiFID II best execution requirements
4. How would you characterize the future of the corporate bond trading platform business (broadly), and your business specifically?
The popularity of electronic trading and the percent of trading volume will increase in coming years as several themes persist: more regulation, diversification of liquidity sources, increased scrutiny of expenses and requirements for best execution. We expect there will be increasing demand for aggregation of liquidity across platforms, but this could result in fragmentation and cost increases that would instead result in platform consolidation. Through it all our goals remain the same: provide the most complete platform for the lowest cost, bringing market participants together with the data, connectivity and community they need to profitably trade.