Tradeweb Markets’ announced acquisition of fellow alternative trading system BondDesk in September was only a first step in its plan to boost its retail fixed income offering for broker-dealers, retail and middle-market investors, which includes municipal bonds.
The firm announced Friday that it had completed the purchase and rolled out its rebranded retail group, called Tradeweb Direct. The new division will integrate the businesses, technology, services and support of both Tradeweb Retail, the firm’s original retail offering, and BondDesk.
Through the acquisition, Tradeweb gained all the assets of BondDesk LLC, which includes its alternative trading system, as well as other platforms and businesses. Tradeweb combined the two platforms to expand beyond its retail-focused fixed income organizations to focus on a broader market.
In so doing, the new Tradeweb Direct business will boast a combined market share of more than 25% of all muni trades as a percentage of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board transactions, said John Cahalane, managing director and head of Tradeweb Direct. The market averaged 42,644 transactions daily through three quarters of 2013, MSRB numbers show.
“We’re going to bring all of the best liquidity, transparency and innovation in the marketplace to broker-dealers, middle-market investors, and eventually, to the institutional space, helping the rates businesses, corporate markets and the municipal bond market,” Cahalane said.
As the deal involved two private firms, Cahalane said he would not discuss personnel numbers or financial details.
Tradeweb clients can soon connect to each of the current trading platforms to improve overall liquidity, as well as to Interactive Portfolio Solutions’ enhanced portfolio analytics, which the firm acquired this summer. Clients will have access to analytics across fixed income markets to help manage their portfolios, reach into Tradeweb Direct’ liquidity pool to propose swap opportunities, and see the immediate impact on the portfolio when buying or selling bonds.
“There’s a linkage between analytics on a portfolio basis and the actual liquidity of the platform,” Cahalane said.
Tradeweb Direct will focus immediately on transactions that involve the buy-side, the sell-side and the inter-dealer community, as they relate to broker-dealers with financial advisors and dealer-to-dealer trades in the broader market, Cahalane said.
Tradeweb, which builds and operates global fixed-income and derivatives marketplaces, purchased BondDesk, a U.S.-based developer of retail fixed income wealth management and trading technology. In August, Tradeweb acquired analytics provider Interactive Portfolio Solutions, which originally focused on the municipal market and later expanded its coverage to other asset classes.