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Online credit trading finds its leaders

MarketAxess has risen to the top of online credit trading through a mix of luck and skill. Now TradeWeb has launched corporate bond trading too. The downturn has helped position them as the two biggest platforms. But they’re competing for a tiny share of overall corporate bond business.

Rick McVey

Amid credit market gloom and forecasts that continually postpone the onset of recovery, the CEO of online credit trading platform MarketAxess is optimistic. "More people are starting to feel like the vast majority of bad news is behind us," says Rick McVey (pictured above). "I am encouraged by the signs. We are on the verge of a major growth wave in corporate bonds."

Before you wonder what McVey knows that investors around the world don't, bear in mind that, as the head of the last remaining serious corporate bond platform, McVey is paid to be positive. "In many respects, I feel like we have been an oasis in a credit desert over the last two or three quarters," he says.

This time last year, MarketAxess was just one of a large number of credit trading platforms. Banks were beyond the stage where they would throw support (and money) behind any idea with a decent URL and a plan to be big in bonds, but competition was still intense.

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