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New Platform Lets Indie Advisors Trade Bonds

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Today, 280 CapMarkets launched its Bond Navigator platform designed to help independent financial advisors buy and sell individual bonds by providing greater transparency about the pricing, availability and other characteristics.

The individual bond market, dominated by institutional buyers and sellers, limits that access for independent advisors, making it difficult to compare available bonds and get the best price.

“Bond Navigator levels the playing field for independent advisors,” said Gurinder S. Ahluwalia, chief executive officer of 280 CapMarkets, in a statement. “It empowers advisors with enhanced market visibility, carefully curated offerings, and access to a breadth of products and insights on the markets.”

The cloud-based platform will initially include only municipal bonds, but there are plans to expand first into corporate bonds and then into other fixed income assets later this year.

(Related: 4 Ways to Get More Mileage Out of Muni Bond Season)

A small group of advisors have been using the platform for several months; now the platform is available to all advisors for no cost except a $25 trading fee. 280 CapMarkets gets paid only if it makes the trade, says Ahluwalia.

Trade requests initiated through Bond Navigator are executed by a team of fixed income professionals who have access to the firm’s three desks: traditional market maker, institutional sales desk and now, advisor-liason desk with broker-dealers and market makers.

(Related:  Mixed Bag for Bonds in 2018)

Bond Navigator aggregates data from these multiple market sources and “displays the data onto a single, easy-to-use screen, providing real-time trading information and pricing transparency,” said Prescott Nasser, chief technology officer, in a statement.

“Advisors have access to a full range of bond offerings, by issuer or series, along with historical trading data, so that they can confidently select the right bonds for their client at the right price.”

 The Bond Navigator platform features:

  • A map that illustrates the geographic location of issuers
  • Offering and bid/wanted supply by issuer and geographic location
  • Real-time new offering and bid/wanted alerts
  • A marketing tool for advisors’ communication with new and existing clients

“This service model, uniquely binding deep fixed income expertise with a sophisticated technology platform, can help independent advisors save valuable time, grow their business, and feel confident in their ability to support best execution requirements,” said Ahluwalia.

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