Wednesday 1st July 2015
NEWS TICKER, TUESDAY JUNE 30TH 2015: Pamplona Capital Management (“Pamplona”) has acquired Precyse, a health information manager in services, education and technology founded in 1999. Also, earlier this month, Pamplona sold the majority of its controlling stake in Alvogen, a high growth generic drugs company, to a consortium of investors. The Precyse investment has been made from Pamplona’s fourth private equity fund, Pamplona Capital Partners and was advised by Deutsche Bank Securities and received legal advice from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Pamplona is a London and New York based specialist investment manager established in 2005. In addition to Precyse, Pamplona’s healthcare investment portfolio currently includes Spreemo, a company that is bringing to the workers compensation specialty benefits management industry with a focus on radiology; Intralign, which helps hospital and surgeons achieve a rep-less, optimised surgical episode by combining assessment with clinical support and operational tools; Magnacare, a healthcare administrative services company focused on self-insured employers and workers complains in the New York and New Jersey regions; and Privia Health, a physician practice management and population health technology company. - In line with its strategy to focus on packaging solutions for its pharmaceutical customers, Gerresheimer today announced that it will sell its glass tubing business to Corning Incorporated. The €196m ($219m) deal was advised by McDermott Will & Emery - GVQ Investment Management Limited (GVQIM), a specialist fund manager that applies private equity investment techniques to the public markets, has announced the appointment of Jane Tufnell as non-executive chairman. Tufnell co-founded Ruffer Investment Management Limited, a privately owned fund management group in 1994. She is an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Diverse Income Trust and of the JP Morgan Claverhouse Investment Trust. - Insurance broker and risk advisory firm Willis Group Holdings and professional services group Towers Watson on Tuesday said they had agreed to an all-stock merger that values the combined company at $18bn. Under the deal, which has been approved by both boards, Towers Watson shareholders will get 2.6490 Willis shares for each share held as well as a one-time cash dividend of $4.87 a share. Willis Group shareholders will own 50.1% of the combined group and Towers Watson shareholders will own the rest. The combined company, to be named Willis Towers Watson, will have 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries and revenue of about $8.2bn. Willis Chairman James McCann will be chairman of the combined company and Towers Watson Chairman and Chief Executive John Haley will be its CEO. Willis CEO Dominic Casserley will be president and deputy CEO of the combined company. Its board will consist of six directors from each company. Towers Watson’s chief financial officer, Roger Millay, will be CFO - According to BankingLaw 360, the US Supreme Court has granted an appeal from Merrill Lynch, UBS Securities LLC and other financial institutions over a shareholder suit alleging they engaged in illegal and manipulative “naked” short selling - Roxi Petroleum has reported progress at its flagship BNG asset as it posted an operational update. The Central Asian oil and gas company with a focus on Kazakhstan says that a gross oil-bearing interval of at least 105 metres, from 4,332 metres to 4,437 metres, was found at its Deep Well A5. The well, which was spudded in July 2013, will require specialist equipment for a more comprehensive 30-day core sampling test, but has already began preparatory extraction work Elsewhere, Deep Well 801, spudded in December 2014, is in the production test phase. "Progress at the BNG deep wells can best be described as steady," says chairman Clive Carver. "We look forward to reporting the results of our ongoing work in the near future – Advisory firm Hargreaves Landsdown has reportedly acquired a client book of 7,000 investors with a combined £370m of assets from JP Morgan Asset Management. The book accounts for 6% of JP Morgan’s direct client business and represents clients that hold or plan to continue to invest in non-JP Morgan funds or investment trusts in wrappers other than the JP Morgan ISA. This includes clients with direct equities, gilts or exchange-traded funds, who will be moved the brokers Vantage platform. The sale follows JP Morgan's announcement in January 2014 that it would no longer offer direct clients anything other than JP Morgan funds and investment trusts and that it would close its cash ISA and Sipp. There will be no transfer charge for clients moving to Hargreaves. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed - The OECD will publish Government at a Glance 2015 on Monday July 6th. The biannual report, now in its fourth edition, presents more than 50 indicators to compare governments’ performance in everything from public finances (including government spending per person), cuts to staffing and pay in central government and the level of private asset disclosure by government officials to access to and satisfaction with the healthcare, education and the justice systems This year’s report covers non-OECD countries for some indicators including Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine and 36 country factsheets with infographics will be published alongside it. OECD Deputy Secretary-General Mari Kiviniemi will present the report at OECD Headquarters in Paris at 09:00am - Queensland diversified property group WA Stockwell has closed its $35m bond issue oversubscribed following a strong investor response to the offer, sole lead arranger FIIG Securities has announced. The six year senior secured amortising note issue will pay a fixed rate of interest of 7.75% pa. FIIG CEO Mark Paton says the success of the Stockwell issue confirmed the market appetite, especially among wholesale investors, for credit exposure to quality Australian companies. The Stockwell issue is the fourth that FIIG has sole-arranged for a company in the property and infrastructure sector, following successful issues by ASX-listed property developer Payce Consolidated, infrastructure operator Plenary Group, and ASX-listed property funds manager 360 Capital.

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Corporate credit embraces electronic trading

Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Corporate credit embraces electronic trading Recent years have witnessed unprecedented growth in the electronic trading of European credit instruments. Designed to improve transparency and minimise counterparty risk in the derivatives markets, the direction of new regulation is an important factor behind e-trading of European credit. The rules that will govern trade execution, clearing and reporting have yet to be finalised, but it is clear that reform is likely to push trading further towards electronic markets, where there is enhanced price transparency, workflow efficiency and regulatory oversight. Rupert Warmington, director of European credit markets at Tradeweb, discusses why he expects this trend will continue. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Recent years have witnessed unprecedented growth in the electronic trading of European credit instruments. Designed to improve transparency and minimise counterparty risk in the derivatives markets, the direction of new regulation is an important factor behind e-trading of European credit. The rules that will govern trade execution, clearing and reporting have yet to be finalised, but it is clear that reform is likely to push trading further towards electronic markets, where there is enhanced price transparency, workflow efficiency and regulatory oversight. Rupert Warmington, director of European credit markets at Tradeweb, discusses why he expects this trend will continue.

To improve portfolio yields in a climate where other fixed income instruments are showing historically low yields, many investors have turned to European corporate bond markets in recent years. Meanwhile, corporate issuers in Europe are increasingly looking to access capital markets as a result of balance sheet constraints in the bank loan market, which they have traditionally relied upon for a large part of their financing needs. Upcoming regulatory changes and a desire for greater operational ­efficiencies within asset managers have combined to form an ongoing and significant increase in the electronic trading of European credit instruments.

The shift towards e-trading in European credit bonds corresponds with widespread change in the investment patterns and workflows of “real-money” institutions. European dealers are increasingly looking to electronic platforms to service clients’ flow business in vanilla products—precisely where there is greatest liquidity. Growth in electronic trading of investors’ flow business has boosted e-trading volumes overall—estimated now to represent well over 35% of the European credit market, up from less than 20% just a couple of years ago.



Access to liquidity lies at the heart of successful e-trading platforms. There has been a sizeable increase in the number of market makers providing prices in European credit over electronic marketplaces such as Tradeweb. Sell-side participants’ desire to win volume through e-platforms has led to significant improvements in the quality of electronic liquidity compared to that offered by phone. This is especially evident in recent months, and has not necessarily reflected conditions in the market overall. There is indeed an increasing buy-side perception that a growing proportion of overall sell-side liquidity is now being offered electronically as opposed to voice trading.

Yet, for institutional investors, operational efficiency is almost as important as liquidity. Throughout the entire trading cycle of price discovery, ­execution and post-trade processing, electronic trading platforms provide ready access to trade information, analytics, and price transparency. And both buy- and sell-side institutions can fully integrate electronic trading platforms into their existing workflow systems.

This automation must not come at the cost of flexibility. Buy-side traders can tailor tickets to their precise requirements on electronic platforms and request prices from specific dealers (the “request-for-quote” or RFQ model). This auction-like process gives buy-side traders fast and trans­parent price discovery, simultaneously putting dealers into competition. Increased competition optimises pricing efficiency and helps the buy-side demonstrate best execution.

More sophisticated electronic trading platforms are also flexible enough to allow buy-side investors to execute multiple trades concurrently from a single list of orders across multiple asset classes. The time saved allows asset managers to invest resources more efficiently to boost overall productivity and performance.

The need for flexibility in trading these instruments has become increasingly important as both regulatory and macroeconomic factors coalesce, reducing overall market liquidity. This has led various market participants recently to explore new price discovery and execution models which, if successful, could increasingly challenge the way business is done and even the current market structure.

However, the common thread running through the fundamental changes underway in the marketplace is the greater use of electronic trading. Whilst the main driver stimulating the willingness to look at new ways to execute trades may be regulatory and macroeconomic change, the need for more efficient and cost-effective trade execution is also at the core of these moves. In other words, the evolution happening today is underpinned by some of the same drivers that have been central toward the increased use of electronic trading across fixed income markets for more than ten years.

It is clear that the fixed income markets are becoming an increasingly dynamic and exciting place in which to operate, especially in the burgeoning electronic marketplace for European credit. This presents us with challenges, but also many opportunities to contri­bute to the accelerating evolution of the market. As electronic trading continues to meet the needs of financial institutions seeking better liquidity, increased efficiency and improved performance, marketplaces like Tradeweb will continue to partner with the buy- and sell-side to drive innovation in the new regulatory and economic environment.

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