Alternative trading system BondBook has closed its online dealing platform for US high grade and high yield corporate bonds after only eight months of operation.
BondBook sought to provide participants in the fixed income markets easier price discovery, greater price transparency, and more reliable access to liquidity by providing an electronic, anonymous, any-to-any trading platform, open to all qualified market participants.
Given the degree of behavioural change among market participants required for the platform to take off, the company's equity partners concluded this was unlikely to be achieved in an acceptable timeframe. BondBook held backing from Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Salomon Smith Barney and UBS Warburg.
The board has confirmed its decision to close down trading and operations while maintaining the platform's capabilities for "potential re-intiatiation under more favourable conditions". The firm's 130 employees will be let go with compensation packages.