MarketAxess and BlackRock Expand Strategic Trading Alliance into Europe

MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTX) and BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) are expanding their Open Trading™ alliance into the European credit markets. The strategic alliance seeks to improve liquidity and reduce transaction costs for European fixed income market participants, building upon the success of the firms’ existing partnership in U.S. credit. The alliance will offer increased choice in execution options and counterparties, while providing valuable data and market insights to better inform trading decisions in European markets. Under the expanded partnership, the firms will continue their efforts to develop innovative trading protocols that address liquidity challenges in the global credit markets.

The partnership combines order flow from the world’s largest asset manager and its broad Aladdin® investor client community with MarketAxess’ network of more than 1000 investor and dealer firms to improve the range of trading connections available to European credit market participants. BlackRock and its Aladdin community will have the benefit of streamlined access to MarketAxess’ expanded liquidity options and data products through the Aladdin platform.

This alliance coincides with the launch of MarketAxess’ all-to-all Open Trading in European credit products, leveraging the broad network of institutional participants on the MarketAxess trading platform. Open Trading enables all buyers and sellers to source liquidity from all other MarketAxess system participants in a single, independent market place for credit trading.

Rick McVey, Chairman and CEO of MarketAxess, said: “Our Open Trading Alliance with BlackRock in the U.S. has led to meaningful improvement in credit market liquidity and a promising path forward to deal with much larger global credit markets and significant regulatory changes. We are very pleased to extend this alliance to Europe where investors and dealers are facing many of the same liquidity challenges. Over 7% of U.S. high-grade trades on MarketAxess now take place via Open Trading protocols, compared to just 2% a year ago. We have seen an acceleration in adoption rates for Open Trading by both dealers and investors as market volatility has increased. ”

“MarketAxess has been a tremendous partner and we are excited for this next step in delivering innovative liquidity solutions that benefit BlackRock’s asset management and Aladdin clients,” said Richie Prager, global head of Trading and Liquidity Strategies at BlackRock. “The fixed income investment landscape has evolved more quickly than the market’s underlying structure for transacting, challenging buyers’ and sellers’ abilities to connect and transact and requiring investors to explore new avenues of liquidity to meet their needs.”

Richard Schiffman, Open Trading Product Manager at MarketAxess, said: “Since the beginning of 2014 over 77,000 all-to-all transactions have been completed using MarketAxess Open Trading protocols such as Market Lists. During last year participants on MarketAxess had access to over 100,000 prices in response to anonymous Market List orders. This is new liquidity that was only available by bringing together investors, dealers and other market participants onto a single all-to-all platform.”

In addition to trading innovations, clients in Europe will benefit from access to unique market data from Trax®, with volume and pricing data from 40,000 daily regulatory reported transactions, and quoted and traded prices on over 50,000 unique bonds.

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