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Best interdealer fixed-income trading network: BrokerTec

BrokerTec comes out ahead of other creditable performers in interdealer fixed-income trading networks such as eSpeed, Eurex, and MTS. Its success is based on strong liquidity, ease of use, and it offers in-built post-trade processing.

As one trader gamely admits: "Our attention span is about 30 seconds, so if something is difficult to use, we won’t use it. BrokerTec looks nice, it’s configurable, and the team is good at changing its systems to reflect client needs." More than any other single factor, this popularity with traders clinched BrokerTec’s win.

MTS has its fans and, in Italy at least, is on a par with BrokerTec for ease of use and responsiveness. But it cannot match BrokerTec’s volumes outside Italy, and some banks are put off by its mandatory market-making system. Nonetheless, it does an admirable job of serving the European market. Eurex Bonds is primarily a German system for German banks, although it handles some other specialist business.

In US treasuries, where eSpeed is traditionally dominant, BrokerTec’s merger with Icap should boost its market share. Its less visible strengths include security and speed. It is not web-based, but clients can use it via a virtual private network if they prefer.

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