If not as widely-covered as the GOP or DNC primaries, financial industry publication Wall Street Letter (“WSL”) held its 5th Annual Institutional Trading Awards ceremony last night at NYC venue 583 Park Avenue and recognized best-in-class broker-dealers across 7 major categories, including Best Broker Dealer (OverAll), Best Broker-Dealer Research, Best BD-Client Service and Best Broker-Dealer across equities, futures and options. The WSL Awards also recognized the firms considered to be the top within technology offerings, including electronic trading applications and electronic exchange platforms.
Taking home the gold for Best Broker-Dealer “Overall” :Wolverine Execution Services (WEX). Runners-up included Bloomberg Tradebook, Interactive Brokers, Mischler Financial Group and Dash Financial. Best Broker-Dealer Research was awarded for the third consecutive year to Mischler Financial Group, the industry’s oldest minority broker-dealer owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans. Runners up in the Best Research category: Stifel Nicolaus and Sandler O’Neil.
Best Broker-Dealer Equities was awarded to Fidelity Capital Markets and in the client service category BNP Paribas took the prize. Best Options Platform was awarded to Interactive Brokers and Best Options Broker was awarded to WallachBeth Capital.
Noted Mischler Financial Group Managing Director Ron Quigley, who accepted the award on behalf of his firm, “Its a great honor to even be considered as a contender for an industry award when considering the pedigree of the other great firms that were nominated. It’s always good to be in good company and its best to be recognized for capabilities.”
Marathon Asset Management CEO Bruce Richards Leads Crowdfund Campaign for “Veterans Education Challenge”
Hedge Fund Honcho Will Match $1mm Raised via Crowdfunding Platform CrowdRise
(RaiseMoney.com) For those Wall Street sharks and finance industry wonks who haven’t yet received the memo about crowdfunding, you might want to dial in to hedge fund industry icon Bruce Richards, Co-Founder and CEO of Marathon Asset Management, the $12.5 billion investment firm that specializes in global credit markets. Richards, whose pedigree includes 15 years in senior trading desk roles for top Wall Street banks before migrating to the world of hedge fund management in 1998, is not only at the helm of one of the investment industry’s most successful and most philanthropic fund managers, he’s just promised to personally match the first $1million raised on crowdfund site Crowdrise for “Veterans Education Challenge”; a campaign dedicated exclusively to funding college scholarships for US military veterans.
The fund raising campaign, announced this past week in conjunction with the celebration of Veterans Day 2015, seeks to raise at least $1mil within the next 12 months, according to the campaign information at crowdfund platform Crowdrise, one of the industry’s leading charitable donation portals co-founded in 2010 by film industry icon and social activist Edward Norton. The goal for the Veterans Education Challenge is to provide scholarship funding for any veterans at 4-year accredited starting the coming school year. This $1 million matching contribution will remain in place until November 11, 2016, next year’s Veterans Day.
In a special note sent to recipients of Richards’ email distribution list, one that typically provides Marathon clients with the firm’s widely-sought insight to global credit markets, Richards provided a starkly compelling investment thesis as to the importance of supporting advanced education for US military members and the need to insure their successful transition into private sector roles in ways the US Government often falls short in providing. In addition to pointing investment firm clients and friends to the Veterans Education Challenge Crowdrise page, Richards encouraged his followers to help advance awareness of the campaign’s FaceBook page and to enlist their following the Twitter account for VetEdChallenge via @VetEdChallenge.
One such recipient of Richards’ outreach included Dean Chamberlain, the Chief Executive of Mischler Financial Group, the securities industry’s oldest investment bank owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans and a firm widely-known for underwriting philanthropic causes that benefit military veterans and their families. Stated Chamberlain, “I’ve known Bruce for nearly twenty five years and I commend his philanthropic leadership. I wholeheartedly endorse and have already made my contribution to the VetEdChallenge crowdfund campaign and I will encourage others to follow suit.”
Richards, along with his wife Avis, an award-winning documentary film producer and director and the founder of Birds Nest Foundation, are considered to be one of New York’s top society couples. They are widely-credited by hedge fund peers for their philanthropic thought-leadership. Marathon Asset Management, whose two other leaders include co-founder Louis Hanover and Andrew Rabinowitz, Marathon’s COO is repeatedly lauded for the firm’s culture of supporting critical philanthropic missions that benefit health and welfare social causes.
MarketsMuse Fixed Income Update “Corporate Bond Market- Balancing on a Knife Edge” is courtesy of extract from the 10.02.15 weekend edition of “Quigley’s Corner”, a daily synopsis of the investment grade corporate bond market and rates trading space authored by Ron Quigley, Managing Director of investment bank and institutional brokerage Mischler Financial Group, the financial industry’s oldest and largest minority brokerdealer owned and operated by service-disabled military veterans. Mischler Financial was selected in 2014 and again in 2015 for the Wall Street Letter Award “Best Research-Brokerdealer”
Blackouts couldn’t be more optimally timed as we experience massive re-pricing in our IG primary credit market. The corporate black-outs are serving as an unplanned, well-timed inherently built-in “kick-the-can” that is necessary in helping us to all buy time as we navigate thru what is perhaps the most unpredictable, treacherous, volatile and uncertain time that our primary markets have experienced since 2008. As one very senior syndicate source told me “the credit markets are sitting on a knife’s edge.” IG spreads are on the whole 44 bps wider at the end of the third quarter according to Morgan Stanley.
Today’s notoriously and unexpected poor employment data was the last thing credit markets needed and it has instigated a massive Treasury rally. Perhaps this is a bit of good news because when both are combined, is a potential high velocity tailwind to credit products from big government bond funds. However, that’s “if” funds want to own credit product and hold it for an extended period of time and potentially wear a negative mark-to-market.
Having said that, the guy-in-the-corner suggests that at some point this weekend, you should put on your favorite song and sing along to it after many shots of tequila. When you get to the point of feeling bad, look at yourself in a mirror and realize that you can begin to feel better with coffee, food, sleep and time but come Monday morning the business model you are used to is about to change. Not adapt; not get better; rather change. The trends in the credit markets that we have seen over the last two quarters are showing no signs of abating, and in some degrees, worsening.
Now please let me introduce the moment you’ve been waiting for..
Syndicate Forecasts and Sound Bites from “The Best and the Brightest!”
I am happy to report that once again the “QC” received unanimous participation from all 23 syndicate desks surveyed in today’s Best & Brightest polling. That includes all of the top 22 ranked syndicate desks according to Bloomberg’s U.S. IG U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond underwriting league table that can be found on your terminals at “LEAG” + [GO] after which you select #201 (US Investment Grade Corporates). Their cumulative underwriting percentage is 94.00% of YTD IG dollar debt underwriting which simply means they’re the ones with visibility. But it’s not only about their volume forecasts, rather it’s also about their comments! This core syndicate group does it best; they know best; so they’re the ones you WANT and NEED to hear from.
*Please note that these are Investment Grade Corporates only. They do not include SSA issuance unless otherwise noted.
The question posed to the “Best and the Brightest” early this morning was:
“Good morning! So, this week the massive repricing in primary markets saw average NICs bust out to 54.23 bps; bid-to-covers shrank to an average 2.02x; today’s numbers were BAD; Obamanomics is quite the engine of growth and job creation, China’s slowdown is showing up in our data (ISM Milwaukee posted its worst manufacturing number since the dot com bubble). Spreads are wider on today’s data to start. Lower-for-longer might just be lower forever! The two-part question for today is what are your volume forecasts for IG Corporate supply for BOTH next week AND October? It’s going to be challenging to nail that down but it’s an important survey at this critical juncture. Many thanks, Ron”
BrokerDealer Gives Back and Pays It Forward; Mischler Financial’s “Memorial Day Month” Pledge Yields $20k for Semper Fi Fund.
MarketsMuse is honored to be the first financial industry news outlet to report an inspiring story that profiles thought-leadership on the part of boutique brokerdealer, Mischler Financial Group and their financial support of Semper Fi Fund.
Mischler Financial Group, Inc., the institutional brokerage and investment banking boutique and the securities industry’s oldest firm owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans, presented a check last week to Semper Fi Fund in the amount of $20,000 as a follow-on to the firm’s previously announced “Memorial Day Month” pledge.
According to Mischler CEO Dean Chamberlain, a U.S. Military Academy alumni and a certified Service-Disabled Vet (SDV), “Our ongoing mission throughout our now, twenty-year history has always been to provide Fortune Treasury and investment management clients with stand-apart capital markets services and by extension, to share the benefits of our success with organizations that are dedicated to supporting service-disabled military veterans and their families in the most productive ways.” Added Chamberlain, “Semper Fi Fund is exactly the type of organization that we are honored to align with and we’re thrilled that so many of our clients rallied behind our trading desks to express their support of this month-long fund raising initiative.”
The Semper Fi Fund, and its program America’s Fund, provide immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities.
Since its 2004 formation led by a group of Marine Corps spouses, Semper Fi Fund has provided more than 93,500 grants, totaling more than $109 million in assistance to over 14,000 of our heroes and their families. Recipients include qualifying post 9/11 Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and reservists with amputations, spinal cord injuries, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), burns, blindness, other physical injuries, or those suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Semper Fi Fund also help spouses and children of active duty service members who face a life threatening illness or injury.
MarketsMuse Fixed Income update profiles Apple Inc latest bond issuance courtesy of late afternoon desk notes distributed to institutional clients of deal co-manager Mischler Financial Group, the financial industry’s oldest and arguably largest boutique Finra member firm that is owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans. MarketsMuse Editors are compelled to add at the outset: The term “Service-Disabled” is a terrible misnomer that the US Dept of Defense should consider changing.
The vast majority of these veterans are ‘disabled’ only within the construct of the certification that is awarded to members of the military who were injured in the line of duty and since relieved from serving in active duty roles. Without discounting the sacrifices that so many veterans have made while serving in our military, sacrifices that have permanently altered their lives and those of their families consequent to truly debilitating injuries sustained, thousands of veterans who were injured in one way or another and who have since returned to the workforce have proven time and again that they are not only fully-able, but they are 110% “mission capable” and “mission ready” whenever provided the opportunity to demonstrate their trained skills and talents within private sector roles.
Moreover, SDVs can be found in leadership roles across the Fortune landscape, including CEO, CFO and corporate treasury positions at the world’s leading companies. We make note of this because the world’s most recognized company, Apple Inc. made the same note of this when appointing Mischler Financial to serve within the ranks of today’s cast of underwriters who helped bring this $8 billion, multi-tranche bond deal to the institutional investor marketplace. Without further ado, below is a short extract from Mischler’s nightly edition of debt capital market commentary, “Quigley’s Corner”
Two mega deals hit the tapes early this morning led by an $8b 7-part from Apple Inc. and a $10b 6-part from Shell International Finance. There were a total of 8 IG Corporate issuers that tapped the dollar DCM to price 20 tranches totaling $21.525b bringing the WTD total to more than 14% more than the syndicate midpoint forecast or $45.125b vs. $39.34b. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Sweden also added $2.25b from the SSA space with a new 3-year bringing the all-in IG day totals to 9 issuers, 21 tranches and $23.775b.
New Record: Quickest In History to the Half Trillion Dollar Mark!
Today marks a landmark in the history of IG issuance – It is the earliest time in any year that we reached the $500 billion issuance mark. YTD IG Corporate-only volume now stands at $510.797 billion! Investor appetite for the stability of higher rated credits and especially those from Corporate America is beyond robust. Congratulations to Apple for their help in putting us on top with this new and very impressive record! Well-timed and well-priced no doubt! YTD all-in IG issuance (Corporates plus SSA) is now $634.407 billion. Not too shabby folks!
Investor’s Bite the Apple – And Like It Alot! A Look at Today’s 6-Part Demand
MarketsMuse update courtesy of debt capital markets desk notes distributed to clients of boutique brokerdealer Mischler Financial under the banner “Quigley’s Corner”. Mischler Financial, the financial industry’s oldest and largest minority firm owned/operated by Service-Disabled Veterans received the 2015 Wall Street Letter Award for Best Research/BrokerDealer.
Well, it’s finally Friday and every Friday is a Good Friday! So, let’s take a look back at the amazing week the investment grade corporate debt market has just concluded.
This week was the second busiest in history for all-in IG volume (Corps+SSA) at $65.03b.
It is now the fourth busiest all-time as measured by the number of individual tranches priced for all-inIG Corporate plus SSA issues with 63tranches priced.
In terms of IG Corporate only supply the week’s $54.03bn ranks 5th all-time in that category.
Market tone remains firm with CDX IG23 at a new low this morning of 60.12.
The DOW and S&P are hovering around all-times highs both set this past Monday.
Deals are performing well, NICs remain skimpy averaging 3.16 bps across this week’s 59 IG Corporate-only prints and demand is very strong with those 59 issues averaging a 3.55x bid-to-cover rate.
The U.S. NFP number was upbeat blowing by estimates or 295k vs. 235k and the EU will be purchasing assets launching EU QE as early as Monday’s session.
The average spread daily compression across today’s 59 IG Corporate-only new pricings was 16.28 bps from IPTs to the launch.
Spreads across the 4 IG asset classes are an average 21.00 bps wider versus their post-Crisis lows and versus 23.50 last Friday or 2.50 bps tighter on the week!
Spreads across the 19 major industry sectors are an average 25.32 bps wider versus their post-Crisis lows and versus 28.21 bps last Friday or 2.89 bps tighter!
BAML’s IG Master Index was unchanged at +131 versus yesterday but 6 bps tighter versus last Friday’s +137 although rebalancing took place thanks to Petrobras being dropped due its high yield rating.
Standard & Poor’s Global Fixed Income Research was at +171 versus +173 one week ago or 2 bps tighter.
Taking a look at the secondary trading performance of this week’s IG and SSA new issues, of the 63 deals that printed, 51 tightened versus NIP for a 81.00% improvement rate while only 4 widened (6.50%), 7 were trading flat (11.00%) and 1 was not available (1.50%).
MarketsMuse fixed income fix for Feb 5 is courtesy of Industry Veteran and debt capital markets guru Ron Quigley, Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income Syndicate for Mischler Financial Group, the sell-side’s first and foremost investment bank/institutional brokerage boutique that is owned and operated by service-disabled veterans. Mr. Quigley is also the author of “Quigley’s Corner”, a daily debt capital market commentary distributed to 1000+ Fortune treasurers, investment managers and public plan sponsors. Mischler Financial Group is the winner of the 5th Annual Wall Street Letter Award for “Best Broker-Dealer/Research”
The Guy-in-the-Corner’s Take on Interest Rates (Feb 4 Quigley’s Corner)
So, I was asked by a Senior Managing Editor of an anonymous multi-billion dollar global financial news operation for my thoughts on interest rates. When I began my response to him, it just seemed to continue as there are so many factors that influence that discussion. My response turned out to be a feature unto itself so without further ado, I thought I’d feature it in today’s “QC.”
As concerns your question about how recent jumbo deals (think “Apple”) have raised speculation of interest rates rising, there is a POV out there claiming issuers are quick to print in anticipation of higher rate action. I, however, lean the other way…….FAR the other way and here’s why:
I have always been a proponent of “lower-for-longer”. Yellen added language in her last minutes flagging the EU as a potential impact on keeping U.S. rates lower. In the prior minutes, she didn’t mention the EU at all (which I thought was egregious not to at least mention the worst and most impactful economic story on our planet).
o On any given day a slew of news would be headliners in their own right. Aside from MENA unrest and the dramatic ISIS killings and impact in the world’s most sensitive hotbed – MENA – there are myriad factors that can all impact our rate environment:
o The Swiss National Bank’s action to remove its cap with the euro is a red flag or bad sign to the markets. It means the Swiss (unknown for surprises and bastions of stability) do not like what they see in on the horizon for for the EU. Did someone say “currency wars?” Remember history and NEVER forget it. We are dealing with severe currency volatility between the USD, EURO, YEN et al. These are reminders of the economic dislocation circa the 1930s……and we know what that led to. Continue reading →