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Syndicated Lending: Deals in cyberspace

A few decades from now, a loan syndication desk will come up with a novel way of conducting its business: it will print and distribute documents on paper. Clients will be impressed with this innovative approach. They will point to improved efficiency, potential cost savings, as well as the exotic feel of paper on flesh. A few of the market's more aged participants will have a sense of déjà vu.

By that point, the three founders of New York-based company, IntraLinks, will have retired rich and happy. IntraLinks is one of a growing number of companies touting the internet and the Web as the perfect tool for documenting and managing financial transactions. Since it officially launched its IntraLoan service for syndicated loans in June last year, more than $20 billion of borrowing has been done via the Web. Banks which have used the product include JP Morgan, BancAmerica, Citibank, PNC Bank and Royal Bank of Canada.

In January IntraLinks extended its service with IntraAgency, a Web-based product to manage and monitor syndicated loans from signing to maturity. According to Patrick Wack, chief operating officer at IntraLinks: "Eventually the whole life-cycle of the loan will be catered for."

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