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Willing liquidity back into the markets

Investors hold about 99% of all bond inventory. Could all-to-all trading platforms provide the best answer to the crisis in liquidity?

It always slightly surprises Constantinos Antoniades, chief executive and founder of Vega-Chi, when he hears fixed-income asset managers saying the next big move in trading structure should be towards all-to-all dealing platforms. His firm has provided such platforms in US high-yield bonds, European high yield and European convertibles for almost four years. Antoniades set up Vega-Chi after stints on both the sell side and the buy side of the market, first as a dealer at Goldman Sachs then as portfolio manager at a hedge fund specializing in convertibles. Its aim is to improve liquidity and price formation in the semi-liquid markets by encouraging investors to make prices by displaying firm orders to each other, albeit anonymously, as well as to sell-side dealers, in an all-to-all venue. It combines elements of an exchange, with a central limit order book, price transparency and audit trails of actually executed trades, and also of a dark pool with participants assured of anonymity and trades settled through Pershing in the US and BNP Paribas in Europe.

Vega-Chi already had 150 participants signed up in the US and Europe, with more in the pipeline, when Euromoney sat down with Antoniades in August.

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