Outlook 2016: Mark Monahan, MTS Markets
24th December 2015
Mark Monahan is the CEO of MTS Markets International.
What were the major themes in your business in 2015?
Our major themes for 2015 were new business acquisition, enhanced technology and geographic expansion. As we increased engagement among the 650 buy- and sell-side institutions across the US that utilize our platforms, our principal focus was on new business acquisition. As a result, there are roughly 50 new institutions now live and trading on BondsPro and we also brought several new liquidity providers live on BondVision US. Another key focus was supporting more advanced trading via HTML5, FIX 4.4 and several integrations into various OMS- and EMS providers. Lastly, we expanded our global trading liquidity by opening up in Switzerland and increasing trading volume in the UK.
What are your expectations for 2016?
In terms of expectations for 2016, successful electronic brokerage firms must continue to offer simpler ways for market participants to access the market and trade, and become more engrained into their clients trade-flow. HTML 5, for example, enables pure Web-based trading with zero software requirements, effectively reducing deployment times and simplifying the trade process. The use of aggregation models will continue to grow as will all forms of proprietary API activity. Bond traders prefer not to be told how and where to trade and they don’t need more GUIs, particularly ones that require software. What they seek is more customization and adherence to their specific trading models without punitive monthly subscription fees.
Cross-border trading will also become increasingly important, especially with research showing that non-USD corporate bond trading in America is a significant market opportunity as is USD corporate bond trading across Europe. Moreover, despite the growing importance of market data, many electronic brokerages in US corporate bonds have been slow to deliver a global market data offering to enhance their value for clients. This is a substantial opportunity for a European player.
For us, we will continue to provide market participants with the choice and transparency to execute in the manner that best suits their needs and preferences. We will also continue to invest in technology and leverage the global infrastructure of our parent company, London Stock Exchange Group, to bolster cross continental execution and trading.