Best site for new issues: UBS Warburg
Runners-up: DrKW, Merrill Lynch
Most banks admit that they can count the investors who have ordered bonds through their new-issue platforms on the fingers of one hand.
Several years after starting investing in systems to encourage online book-building, some of the cleverer banks have worked out why this is the case and are working to make their new issues offering far more useful for the three groups that use them - issuers, syndicate desks and investors.
All new-issue sites offer the same basic services: information about the issuer, the terms of the issue, the timing, and so on. Investors can choose to load an indication of interest into the site to book an allocation. The issuer, meanwhile, can monitor where these IOIs are coming from, and can sometimes also use the site as a roadshow diary, which lists scheduled meetings and gives background information about the investors that are on the list. With a few sites, the different syndicate desks all put the IOIs that they have gathered into one platform, with various pieces of shared information.
The winner, UBS Warburg, takes the prize this year not only because it has a good book-building system, with DebtWeb, but it also provides unrivalled information to issuers to help them with their forthcoming issues, through its Issuer Desktop Analytics site.