Creating next-generation bond trading
“Real liquidity, real price transparency, real efficiency”
Tradeweb came to Fathom in 2013 looking for help in creating a new corporate credit platform. They’d tried to enter this market previously, against some very assertive competition, but had not met with a great deal of success. The important realisation that they made as a company was that they needed to launch with a truly revolutionary interface to both drive adoption and encourage migration from voice to electronic sales and trading. They needed, in their words, “some West Coast cool”.
Right from the very outset, Fathom worked with Tradeweb in a truly One Team partnership with product and technical specialists to create and articulate the new vision that they needed. With user experience first and foremost in all decision-making, we met with Tradeweb’s clients on both buy-side and sell-side, quickly introducing personas and determining the key features required to drive adoption.
By pioneering a new design language, user experience and UI design, we instigated a wholesale modernisation of Tradeweb’s visual identity. And by getting to code as quickly as possible, we accelerated their adoption of new technologies, proving the performance and capability of the proposed technology stack (HTML5 and Angular JS) by showing it could handle required volumes and refresh rates.
Inside of 11 months, working as a One Team partnership, the project team created a transformative Enterprise-class application that was launched on trading desktops all over the world. The application included:
- REALstreams - transact seamlessly on thousands of live, streaming prices from liquidity providers
- RFQ Flexibility - leverage existing relationships to see prices from up to 5 liquidity providers on Round-lot trades with Focus-RFQs, or survey all liquidity providers for Odd-lot prices in a Blast RFQ or list trade
- Single Dealer Pages - pre-trade transparency of pricing, inventory and axes from each liquidity provider
- Trade Docket - an order management tool that prioritises trades in a customised, sortable list
- Integrated Message-to-Trade - chat bilaterally with key relationships for colour and context, negotiate pricing, then click through to a trade ticket for seamless electronic trade execution
- Search - advanced search functionality (with auto-complete) enables investors to instantly filter through the investment grade corporate bond universe for liquid and illiquid issues
At launch, Tradeweb’s corporate bond platform was the most advanced online marketplace for corporate bond investors then available. It was the only platform to fully integrate TRACE data into a trader's workflow and to allow buy-side investors to commingle up to 30 buy and sell trades on a single electronic Bid and Offer List.
The One Team partnership between Fathom and Tradeweb resulted in a best-in-class application, with a guided and intuitive trading experience for corporate credit.
Technically, Fathom’s advocacy of modern web technologies provided the new technical foundations upon which Tradeweb re-engineered their whole platform. Creatively, our design work on visual identity and user interface for corporate credit has been adopted and expanded for other instrument types and asset classes, and extended outwards from the software to influence how the company markets and communicates its messages visually.
“Innovation in electronic trading is the key to enhancing liquidity across the sector, and our new offering represents the first step forward in providing clients with a total solution for credit trading.”Billy Hult, Tradeweb President
“We’re excited about the positive feedback we’ve received from investors so far, and we’re heavily invested in bringing innovation to this space over the long term.”Lee Olesky, Tradeweb President