Another Euromoney, Another Milestone

It’s that time of year again.

Summer has arrived, the World Cup is in full swing, and Park Lane is awash with dealers, issuers and investors. Yep, you’ve guessed it, it’s Euromoney!

At last year’s conference, we emerged from our ‘beta’ phase and officially launched our debt capital markets origination platform. Now we’re celebrating another milestone, with the launch of our new final terms tool, which automates legal documentation for DCM.

We’re happy to be partnering with Allen & Overy on this. Yes, they’re a leading international law firm who provide deep expertise and credibility. But they’re also a great group of people who value innovation and are investing in new technologies.

Rome wasn’t built in a day (or in three years), and Origin has been no different. Rather than seeking to launch an all-singing, all-dancing product that’s all things to all people, we have focused on releasing core functionalities that are robust and bulletproof, adding new additional features over time. This phased approach has ensured an orderly rollout of the platform and is building a loyal community of users.

Over time, we’ve expanded beyond showing initial contributions of funding requirements from issuers to include a comprehensive transactional workflow tool. Dealers can automatically draft termsheets for issuers directly on the system, receive mandates, and keep track of trades that are in progress or that have been executed. Now, in collaboration with our friends at A&O, we’ve extended the workflow tool to include the automatic drafting of final terms.

This is a big step forward in optimising the issuance process, freeing people – dealers, issuers, lawyers – from the tedium of pushing draft term sheets around on email so they can focus on achieving the best results for clients and stakeholders. By encoding issuers’ documentation into Origin’s easy to use wizard, countless legal hours can be saved in the processing of final terms documents. The tool can handle any issuer borrowing with a Euro or Global Medium Term Note Programme.

We’re currently testing the tool with IFC, who, since we first approached them, have been strong supporters of what we’re doing with Origin. We’re delighted to be working together on this. Soon we’ll begin testing with a wider pool of issuers, looking to launch live by the end of the year.

This new product has been in development for some time, so it’s great to push things over the line in time for the conference. It means we can get our message out there to a large group of decision-makers, and it’s one less thing on my to do list!

Speaking of which, it’s been a productive year thus far. Deal volumes on our platform continue to grow, and we’ve seen $4.5bn of issuance across 110 transactions in the first half of the year. Having officially launched a year ago, we now count 16 dealers and over 56 frequent borrowers on board. Many of you use our platform every day. Indeed, Origin is used by over 500 professionals worldwide in 45 cities. Others are still to try our product. But gradually, issuers and dealers across the market are becoming aware of what we do and how we can help.

The new final terms tool is another important step in our journey. Having spent much time focusing on pre-trade, we’re now building automation in ‘post-trade’ processes, too. There are challenges to be overcome here, and huge opportunities for those who get it right.

The entire fixed-income market currently runs on a web of emails with pdf attachments that fly between dealers, issuers, IPAs, clearing systems and exchanges. The automation of documentation opens up all kind of possibilities and we are working with post-trade market participants (clearing houses, IPAs, exchanges) on optimising this process. Ultimately, we believe financial markets work best when they are simple, transparent, and global. We want to be the connective tissue that brings capital markets participants together, wherever they work.

It’s great to be celebrating another milestone with our friends, colleagues and clients. This blog post provides a timely opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported us on this journey. Thank you.