Agora signs up collaborators for its digital capital markets journey
Veteran DCM banker Charlie Berman closes in on first product launch aimed at digitizing processes and workflows along the life of a bond.
Debt capital markets (DCM) teams have been frantically busy since mid-March. Investment grade corporates, banks, sovereigns and supranationals all rushed to issue bonds in the teeth of the Covid-19 lockdowns in order to secure term funding while they still could.
“The corporate debt market has seen record levels with a couple of $120 billion weeks in the US and €80 billion weeks in Europe,” says Barry Donlon, head of DCM EMEA at UBS. “After the initial seizures in commercial paper and closure of new issuance, high-quality companies reopened markets with large deals that have performed well, so helping stem the outflows from bond funds.”
Even with most bankers now working from home, primary markets have functioned well so far.
“I am impressed with how the infrastructure has held up. We still have some traders at their desks in the office or at backup sites, albeit social distancing. I’m not aware of anything that needs to be done to close the gap to how we used to execute deals prior to this,” says Donlon.