Best electronic services for debt issuers: UBS
Highly commended: Merrill Lynch (using i-Deal)
This award recognizes the bank that provides the best overall service to issuers from the run-up to issuing until after a book is closed and bonds are sold. UBS meets these broader criteria more fully than any other bank.
UBS’s Issuer Desktop Analytics (IDA) offers relevant research and live secondary market levels, including swap spreads to help them time their approaches to the market.
Its pre-trade modelling website for asset-backed structured deals lets originators run high-speed Monte Carlo modelling programmes instead of laboriously entering the necessary figures on Excel spreadsheets. Users can save the results and share them with rating agencies and bookrunners. The site also has a link to the Standard & Poor’s default probability matrix. As a product that helps issuers structure specific bonds, this is unrivalled.
Merrill Lynch also uses its excellent secondary market trade data to help regular borrowers judge when and how to work their primary placement. A searchable spread-change heat map indicates favourable times to issue bonds, as does a redemption graphing tool, based on the bank’s indices.
Merrill Lynch was part of the development team behind the dealer-neutral i-Deal platform, along with Citigroup, Microsoft, and Thomson Financial.