Reuters reported this week that the retail focused corporate and municipal bond trading platform BondDesk is up for sale:
Institutional fixed-income trading platform providers Tradeweb and MarketAxess are among three bidders for BondDesk Group LLC in a deal that is expected to be valued up to $200 million, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters this week.
Disclosure: Thomson Reuters is the majority owner of Tradeweb.
BondDesk was founded in 1999 by Charles Almond who, with Paine Webber (which became UBS), formed the first bond aggregation platform for odd-lot or retail sized trades.
Some big banks bought into BondDesk and eventually the firm had substantial inventory listings and order flow from its owner dealers. The platform worked effectively to distribute dealer inventory to regional broker dealers, smaller shops and investment advisors.
BondDesk was plagued with a series of upper management changes before and after Almond sold the company to private equity firm Advent in 2006. The most promising president seemed to be former Bloomberg superstar Kim Bang, who left BondDesk after one year. Bang had the most interesting vision for the firm that I have heard: