Lebenthal & Co. said it will begin trading on MuniAxis, its new platform for odd-lot municipal bond transactions, as the market opens on Dec. 12.
MuniAxis, which uses an open-auction bidding process to buy and sell municipal securities in denominations of less than $1 million on the secondary market, seeks to increase the proportion of executions per listing of odd-lot bid-wanted while improving efficiency and liquidity in the market. The technology lets asset managers sell to an array of dealers and other investors in a manner that’s more transparent, and anonymous, without adding counterparty risk, Lebenthal said.
Dealers and buy side asset managers send anonymous bids to MuniAxis. Pre-trade price transparency allows buyers to see the high bid, know how bids are positioned, and even to bid again.
MuniAxis Lebenthal, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary broker-dealer of Lebenthal & Co., LLC, then acts as counter-party for both buyer and seller, once the system gets commitments from both sides. The firm must approve everybody with access to the platform.
Once that happens, users can see all items that asset managers offer out for the bid as well as the current high bid on items to make informed bids while choosing.
The system creates a live auction for buyers and sellers to let the market determine fair value.