Major financial institutions establish new tech platform DirectBooks

Maria Nikolova

The financial institutions partnering to create this new platform include Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

A group of major financial institutions, including Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo, have announced the creation of new technology platform DirectBooks, whose purpose is to streamline connectivity within the primary market.

DirectBooks aims to simplify the primary issuance process through the use of structured data and streamlined communications. The new service is set to boost the efficiency and accuracy of deal workflow information among market participants by disseminating it through a robust communication platform that can be integrated into underwriter and investor systems to better connect underwriters and their clients. DirectBooks expects to scale globally for primary market offerings.

Richard D. Kerschner will be the Chief Executive Officer of Primary Markets LLC, the holding company for DirectBooks. Richard D. Kerschner, who is a former NYMEX, CLS and ICAP/NEX Group executive, has more than 25 years of strategic and operating experience across technology platforms and capital markets. He also has extensive expertise as an active FinTech investor and board member.

DirectBooks is set to cooperate with OMS providers and members of the buyside technology ecosystem to ensure optimal service for all market participants. BlackRock and the Aladdin platform have already engaged with the company in the development of an enhanced integrated issuance process to bring efficiencies and standardization for buyside participants.

The DirectBooks service will be made available through a web-based platform and will also offer standard FIX connectivity so that users – both underwriters and investors – can integrate with their own systems. DirectBooks will offer open APIs for integration and will work in partnership with OMS providers and members of the buyside technology ecosystem to ensure optimal service for market participants.

Initially, the service will be used for offerings of US dollar-denominated investment grade corporate bonds, and expects to rapidly expand into other fixed-income assets.

The service will be made available in stages, starting with deal announcements, throughout 2020. Beta testing is expected to begin with selected clients during Q1 2020.

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