In the first quarter of 2017, MarketAxess Holdings increased its share of U.S. high-grade corporate bond trading volume to 15.9 percent, a full percentage point higher than in the 2016 period. The steadily rising market-share measure is just one of many indicators of sustained momentum at the fixed-income platform operator that then-J.P. Morgan managing director Richard McVey founded in 2000. The flip side of 15.9 percent is the vast majority of trading that has yet to go electronic. "Our job is to keep enhancing the trading system and make it easy for people to trade electronically," says McVey, 57, chair and CEO since the firm's inception. He says that MarketAxess, which went public in 2004 and staked out a leadership position in corporates, is making progress across all four of its core product areas: high grade, high yield, Eurobonds, and emerging markets. He notes that "a lot of companies in our space have struggled" in attempting to serve a "complicated and fragmented market" that has chronic liquidity issues. With 1,200 institutional investors and broker-dealers on the network, MarketAxess is reaping the benefits of investing profits back into the business first-quarter pretax income rose 25 percent year-over-year, to $56 million, and revenue 17 percent, to $104 million, both records and building on a home-grown technology foundation that rivals cannot match, McVey contends.
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