Trading Technology 30: Richard McVey
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
MarketAxess was one of Wall Street dealers’ great hopes for automating fixed-income trades circa 2000. Foremost among those institutions was J.P. Morgan & Co. Its e-finance incubator, LabMorgan, developed the platform, initially for corporate bonds, and Richard McVey, the bank’s head of North America fixed-income sales, brought the business to life — and eventually to a November 2004 IPO. “When we started out in 2000, people said corporate bonds would never trade electronically,” says McVey, 52, chairman and CEO since MarketAxess’ inception. “I love a challenge, so it was very motivational to try and prove them wrong.” He has proved a lot. With a market valuation of more than $1 billion, an expanded geographical reach and a diversified product mix that includes credit derivatives and asset-backed securities, MarketAxess is on a roll. December’s total volume of $41 billion was up from $36 billion a year earlier, and average daily volume in the third quarter rose 31 percent year-over-year, to $2.1 billion. The third quarter was MarketAxess’ tenth in a row of record financial performance: Nine-month revenue of $136 million was 26 percent better than in 2010; net income jumped 61 percent, to $36 million. McVey sees e-trading at a turning point, likely to get a boost from regulations designed to improve fixed-income and derivatives transparency; MarketAxess intends to meet the swap execution facility specifications of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.