ICE ties BondPoint into broader fixed income strategy


By Flora McFarlane.

Intercontinental Exchange has completed its acquisition of BondPoint from Virtu Financial, signalling its continued expansion in the fixed income market.

BondPoint, an alternative trading system (ATS), which facilitates access to centralised liquidity, aiming to streamline trade execution and reporting, was sold for US$400 million in cash. More than 500 financial services firms are linked to 200,000 live and executable bids and offers through the system.

The trading solutions service bolsters ICE’s fixed income offering which includes solutions for credit default swap (CDS) markets, dealer to dealer corporate bonds, retail bond trading and portfolio analytics.

With BondPoint’s exposure to the wholesale and retail markets, ICE expects the acquisition to be utilised by clients who are facing greater regulatory and transparency demands.

In ICE’s 2017 Q3 earnings call, Jeff Sprecher, ICE chairman and CEO, highlighted BondPoint’s potential to provide access to a different client base, in its capacity as a dealer to end-user wealth manager platform.

“It allows us to bring that client base in, to not only the BondPoint trading, but to our analytics, data sales, network connectivity services [and] desktops that we are assembling around the fixed income space.”

The acquisition of BondPoint aligns with the company’s strategy of leveraging technology and automation in the increasingly automated trading space. While fixed income is lower than other asset classes to adopt electronic trading, Sprecher emphasised ICE’s holistic view of fixed income solutions and the potential of data available to promote electronification.

Aiming to leverage the abundance of data from its wide-ranging products and solutions, the latest earnings call revealed the company’s ambition to connect data, transparency and greater trading capabilities.

“Coupled with our existing dealer platform, BondPoint will enhance our solutions suite in the fixed income market that is rapidly automating and seeking efficiencies that electronic solutions can bring,” said Sprecher.

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