A group of leading global financial institutions announced today the creation
of DirectBooks™, a new technology platform designed to streamline connectivity within
the primary market.
The financial institutions partnering to develop this new platform include Bank of
America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan,
Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.
Addressing inefficiencies in the marketplace across multiple communication channels,
DirectBooks will simplify the primary issuance process through the use of structured
data and streamlined communications. The new service will increase the efficiency and
accuracy of deal workflow information among market participants by disseminating it
through a robust communication platform that can be integrated into underwriter and
investor systems to better connect underwriters and their clients. DirectBooks expects
to scale globally for primary market offerings.
Richard D. Kerschner has been named as the Chief Executive Officer of Primary
Markets LLC, the holding company for DirectBooks. A former NYMEX, CLS and
ICAP/NEX Group executive, Rich has over 25 years of strategic and operating
experience across technology platforms and capital markets. Rich also has extensive
experience as an active FinTech investor and board member. “I am thrilled to have
joined DirectBooks at this important stage, and am eager to help drive its evolution for
the benefit of the market,” said Rich.
DirectBooks expects to cooperate with OMS providers and members of the buyside
technology ecosystem to ensure optimal service for all market participants. BlackRock
and the Aladdin platform have already engaged with the company in the development of
an enhanced integrated issuance process to bring efficiencies and standardization for
“As an industry-led platform, DirectBooks will offer a centralized hub for communication
around primary market transactions and greatly improve the efficiency of the new issue
process”, said Andrew Karp, Head of Global Investment Grade Capital Markets at Bank
of America (BofA Securities).
“DirectBooks will help drive increased collaboration on a global scale, and has the ability
to deliver efficiencies and benefits to all participants in the primary issuance market.
While DirectBooks will initially focus on Investment Grade transactions, its functionality
should make it a platform of choice for other asset classes in the future,” said Anne
Daley, Investment Grade Syndicate at Barclays.
“This initiative represents an important step towards eliminating manual tasks,
digitalizing interactions with investors and making the new issue process significantly
more efficient,” said Fred Zorzi, Global Head of Primary Markets, BNP Paribas.
“DirectBooks represents a collaborative, non-exclusive effort by the consortium to
alleviate the pain points and inefficiencies in the primary market process felt by both
underwriters and investors,” said Peter Aherne, Citi Head of North American Investment
Grade Capital Markets, Syndicate, and Capital Strategy & Structuring.
“The platform is a great opportunity to systematically and efficiently deliver our
capabilities to our clients. We keep governance over the data being generated and the
ability to share announcements becomes more transparent resulting in faster
communications between market participants. Adding in digitized data makes this the
best way to optimize the new issue business,” said Henrik Johnsson, Co-Head of
Investment Bank EMEA at Deutsche Bank.
“Communication protocols in the new issue process have remained largely untouched
for decades across asset classes. DirectBooks has the capacity to profoundly alter the
way in which underwriters and investing clients engage with one another – with
substantial benefits on tap for all participants,” said Jonathan Fine, Head of Goldman
Sachs’ Investment Grade Syndicate in the Americas.
“We are focused on delivering an efficiency tool that not only offers clients a better
execution model than we have today, but is centered on standardization, security, and
data protection. We are excited to engage with the broader investor and dealer
community on this platform,” said Bob LoBue, Global Head of Fixed Income Syndicate,
“DirectBooks is an example of the underwriter community’s commitment to providing our
collective client base a responsive service,” said Paul Spivack, Morgan Stanley Global
Head of Fixed Income Syndicate and Co-head of Fixed Income Capital Markets,
“DirectBooks streamlines the new issuance process by bridging a communications gap
between underwriters and investors, allowing for more transparency and improved deal
execution,” said John Hines, Global Head of High Grade Debt Syndicate for Wells
Fargo Corporate & Investment Banking.
“The creation of DirectBooks is an opportunity to re-engineer the way primary markets
function by leveraging technology to improve connectivity, efficiency and accuracy,” said
Kamya Somasundaram, Head of Americas Credit Capital Markets at BlackRock. “We
are lending our expertise as an investor in the primary market as well as a leading
provider of order management systems, investment technology and risk analytics, via
the Aladdin platform, to enhance the function of the markets for all investors.”
We look to forward to further communication with industry participants as DirectBooks
prepares to launch its services.
About DirectBooks LLC
DirectBooks leverages its technology expertise and the market knowledge of its
participants to streamline the primary issuance process. DirectBooks improves
efficiency and accuracy for sell-side underwriters and allows the buy-side investor
community to focus on the investment process.