A group of Wall Street heavy hitters
said on Wednesday they have joined to create an online industry
wide municipal bond marketplace, MuniGroup.com LLC which they
expect to transform the $1.5 billion industry.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. BondDesk.com LLC,
Susquehanna Partners GP, Paine Webber Group Inc. and
Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. said they expected the exchange
to begin operations in the second quarter.
MuniGroup.com will offer a centralized and fully executable
trading environment for both traditional and electronic
brokerages to buy and sell municipal bonds.
It will serve the primary and secondary markets and bring
together high-quality live and executable inventory, the
companies said. The combination of municipal bond buyers and
sellers in one marketplace will allow for a less fragmented,
price-transparent and more efficient market, they added.
"Trading in municipal bonds has long been characterized by
inefficiencies and the lack of a centralized market," Connie
Duckworth, chief executive of MuniGroup.com, said in a
"By bringing the highly fragmented municipal bond market to
one trading environment, MuniGroup.com will be able to
revolutionize the bond market much in the same way online
trading has changed both the face and the future of the stock
Goldman Sachs, PaineWebber, Susquehanna and Bear Stearns
will provide investors a broad collection of bond offerings.
MuniGroup.com has an exclusive license with BondDesk.com.
which will provide the technology foundation for the trades,
the companies said.
MuniGroup.com's electronic Inventory Trading System will
enable participating firms to display and match bond offerings
in the secondary market. Its E-Syndicate System will enable
broker-dealers to access new issues, and the Bid/Offer Auction
will provide an automated bidding system of municipal bond
postings, the companies said.