Santa Monica, Calif.-based Trading Edge is building a municipal securities version of BondLinkits flagship, Internet-based trade matching system. At the same time, Trading Edgewhich expects to go live with the municipals module before next summerhas scheduled a fall rollout of a new, real-time news service that will be integrated with BondLink.
Following its launch this April, BondLink was initially targeted at institutional investors and broker/dealers trading high-yield and distressed corporate debt instruments. Just last month, however, Trading Edge officials said they planned to add coverage of emerging markets debt and convertible notes to BondLinks portion by year-end. And now, with a munis module of the platform in development, BondLinks fixed-income coverage is being expanded even further.
Murray Finebaum, chairman and chief executive of Trading Edge, says that while the firm has not yet signed up any clients for the munis module, he anticipates that some of the 140 institutions and broker/dealers that currently use BondLink will want to deploy the munis service.
Besides institutions and broker/dealers, Trading Edge will also be pitching the munis version of BondLink to online discount brokerage firms, such as Charles Schwab Corp., E*Trade Group, Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrettes DLJdirect and Morgan Stanley Dean Witters Discover Brokerage. "We think BondLink is a natural for them to offer as a service to their retail clientele," Finebaum says. In the past, he says, those retail investors have had to rely exclusively on the telephone to execute municipal bond transactions. But via BondLink, clients of discount brokers could anonymously and electronically trade munis.
Separately, Trading Edge is launching a real-time news service that will be integrated with both the present and future versions of BondLink, starting next month. Finebaum says that up to 50 stories per day will be available via the service, which will rely on a staff of eight or nine reporters writing news on all of the instruments covered by BondLink.