The Importance Of Switching Off... And Switching On Again

Happy New Year one and all!

The first week back to work after the holiday season is always an exciting one. In the fixed income markets, people tend to be incredibly fired up. Borrowers, dealers, and investors have all reset their targets to “zero.” There’s a lot of wood to chop.

It’s so important to properly rest over the holiday period, if only for a couple of days. It means you can hit the ground running in January, safe in the knowledge your mind and body are recharged and ready to rumble.

Safely home from a transatlantic sprint involving California, San Sebastián and good old London, I am feeling refreshed and excited about the year ahead. The team here at Origin is in fine spirits, too.

If things seem busy on the markets side, spare a thought for those in the technology business. January is the time when startups and established names in the fintech space are clamouring to launch new product features that they hope will drive growth and make this year one to remember.

That’s certainly the case here at Origin. Our immediate priority is our new automatic term-sheet generator and workflow tool, which we’ve been hard at work on in recent months. Once implemented, dealers will be able to automatically draft termsheets in the issuer’s preferred formats, by navigating our very easy to use wizard. Manual errors and typos will be a thing of the past. And once done, we’ve started work exploring how we can expand this to automatic drafting of finals terms, which would result in meaningful savings for both dealers and issuers.

We’ll be launching a proof of concept of this tool in February for a select group of dealers and issuers to test the tool for a couple months, before a wider roll out in Q2. If you’re interested in getting involved in this testing phase, drop me a line by replying to this email.

Having a user-centric approach to development, where we talk to our customers and gain a better understanding of their needs, is important to us. It means we build products and features that our customers actually want, solving concrete problems. It sounds obvious, but many startups have struggled by doing the opposite.

Other priorities in 2018 include deepening the functionality of the product for dealer users, adding value for people outside of the core syndicate user base. This is a big project and very much a work in progress. Alongside, we will expand our new search functionality for sales, with a view to offering suggestions for taps and secondary market transactions.

On the origination side, we intend to grow the functionality of the platform, positioning Origin as a single cross-functional database (effectively a CRM) for all DCM clients. This is an ambitious aim, but from speaking to existing clients and prospects, we know it will save a lot of time and fuss when it comes to the day-to-day business of origination.

In terms of growth, we are looking to expand further into Asia in 2018, bringing more dealers and issuers onto the platform. Recent trips to Hong Kong, Singapore and China have been intense, but rewarding and inspiring. This is a region where banks and issuers are eager to embrace technology in order to manage rapid growth. We hope we can help here.

2017 was an amazing, albeit formative year for our company. With your help and continued support, we intend to take things to the next level in 2018.