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Best for electronic book-building: Deutsche Bank

Highly commended: Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein

Every site worth its salt updates issuers on what type of investor is buying their bonds and where. Many sites have links to research. Most offer different levels of access to sales teams, syndication desks, and issuers, on identical or similarly configured screens.

Where a product stands out, therefore, is in speed, accuracy, and ease of use, rather than novel functionality. Hence our winner.

DBbonds is with few exceptions the book-building tool that other banks rate. Users can view different tranches of multi-tranche deals (this is not so with some other sites) and can choose whether or not to show deleted orders. Deutsche deliberately chose not to include splits showing how well the book-runners are performing on the grounds that issuers value speed of book-building over this level of detail. But DBbonds is linked via the internet to an Excel spreadsheet that has a more detailed breakdown of how an order book is filling up if necessary. And now that Deutsche has integrated DBbonds with Ipma Match’s new order reconciliation system, it is harder to argue that DBbonds’ emphasis on speed and simplicity means it risks letting more mistakes and duplications through.

DBbonds received the ultimate endorsement when it was chosen as the book-building system for the Bank of England’s dollar Eurobond issue in June 2003.

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