BondDesk has launched a new version of its retail bond-trading platform for financial advisors and wealth managers, the company announced Thursday.

Over the next several months, BondDesk plans to roll out the new platform, called BondWorks, to its largest clients, with the ultimate goal of introducing it to the company’s entire customer base of more than 100,000 financial advisors.

“This is a huge step forward,” said BondDesk Senior Market Strategist Chris Shayne (left) during a demonstration of the new platform in New York. “It’s almost like going from a flip phone to a smart phone, it’s that much better.”

The new design will allow advisors to invest in individual bonds as easily as they can invest in bond funds, according to Greg Stockett, BondDesk’s acting CEO.

“Historically, bonds have lagged behind other markets such as equities and even foreign exchange when it comes to technology and decision support tools, but the BondWorks platform takes retail bond investing to a level not previously seen or available,” Stockett said in a statement. “Advisors can now easily and efficiently engage with the bond market in a sophisticated and intuitive way, benefiting from fully transparent bids and offers, extensive market surveillance, and real-time streaming data that supports their workflow.”

Janney Montgomery Scott has already replaced its existing platform with BondWorks, which is now live across the firm’s network of 750 financial advisors. Nineteen out of top 20 brokers, including Wells Fargo and E*Trade, use the earlier version and are expected to transition to the new BondWorks.

Roughly one out of three retail bond trades are executed on the BondDesk platform, Shayne said. The platform typically features about 100,000 bond offerings from fixed-income dealers and is equally used by about 100,000 registered investment advisors and registered reps, he said. The BondDesk alternative trading system executes more than 20,000 transactions per day.

“The BondWorks platform is unlike any fixed income system we’ve ever seen,” said Janney Managing Director Kevin Reed in a statement. “From an advisor’s standpoint, it is both remarkably powerful and easy to use, which made the decision to switch from our previous platform easy. We look forward to seeing the difference it will make in increasing efficiencies in our retail business while allowing our advisors to spend more time serving clients. The implementation process was successful across the Janney platform and had very little impact on our day-to-day operations.”

New features of the revised platform include:

  • User-friendly BondWorks wizards that have replaced time-consuming manual processes
  • Built-in monitoring tools that allow users to track and receive alerts in real time, such as the status of open orders and price changes for particular CUSIPs
  • Improved search functionality that allows advisors to quickly initiate common or recent searches, as well as conduct new searches based on multiple criteria including keywords, tickers and CUSIPs
  • A bond comparison tool and graphical representations of the market from which advisors can directly initiate orders

Read Treasuries Rallied, Demand for Individual Munis Stabilized in May: BondDesk Report at AdvisorOne.com.