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Capital Markets

DCM bankers battle the rise of the machines

Primary debt capital markets have been remarkably slow to embrace technology. Vested interests are at play: lucrative underwriting fees will not be wrested from the banks without a fight. But automation is coming, partly driven by regulators looking into dysfunctional allocation.

Illustration: David Manion

"Bonds are sold, not bought.” This capital market folklore is the foundation upon which many lucrative debt franchises are built. It also wreathes primary market allocation in a mysterious alchemy. 

Mark Bamford, head of leveraged finance and capital markets at GMP Securities in New York, made this point to Euromoney over lunch in New York in October as he explained why debt capital markets have lagged other markets in technical evolution. 

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