IPC & Overbond: Organisations Partner To Accelerate Automation Of Fixed Incoming Trading

Mike Smith, Director of Global Exchange Relations, IPC, discusses IPC’s partnership with Overbond.

In August, IPC, a technology and service leader powering the global financial markets, announced its partnership with Overbond, a fixed income fintech platform for AI predictive analytics and visualisations. The aim of the partnership is to leverage the voice that IPC captures through its Natural Language Processing (NLP) solution, known as a Dictation as a Service, to facilitate Overbond’s AI pricing and liquidity algorithms. It is worth noting that bond trading tends to be far more illiquid compared to equities, meaning prices for the majority of bonds are difficult to determine due to the infrequency with which they are traded at.

What exactly is being leveraged?

Moreover, to gain a greater understanding of the strategic collaboration, it is important to examine what exactly is being leveraged. Firstly, IPC’s Dictation as a Service is a cloud-based tool. To power this, IPC utilises its award-winning Connexus Cloud infrastructure. The solution allows traders to “dictate” trade terminology as well as translate what is being said in real-time through IPC’s Blotter visualisation platform. The combination of these applications provides end-users with an extensive solution for transforming previously unstructured voice trade data into discoverable, transportable data – all of which takes place in real-time.

Adding to this, Overbond has made significant progress in tackling data aggregation problems impacting automated trading of fixed income securities. Overbond’s COBI-Pricing LIVE tool is a customisable AI pricing engine that helps traders when it comes to automating pricing and trading workflows for global investment-grade bonds, as well as producing prices and liquidity totals for over 100,000 fixed income devices. By integrating COBI-Pricing LIVE with a bilateral representational state transfer (REST) application programming interface (API), which works by handling requests for a resource and returning all the necessary information regarding the resource, translating it into an easily interpretable format for clients, the AI algorithm is able to absorb, collect and process data. This can be from both present and past vendor feeds, internal historical documentation, over-the-counter settlement layer volume records, and now, thanks to this partnership, voice transactions.

Significant milestone

This partnership represents a significant milestone in the evolution of market structure, with technological innovation happening across different levels as a combination of services capable of translating trader voice communications to a structured data feed successfully for bond trading. The aforementioned levels are: voice call tagging to security code – within the workflow of the traders – and AI for downstream processing of the data.

What issues will the partnership help to solve?

Bonds are still traded by voice, with almost 25 percent of fixed-income trades that are made in both Europe and the United States of America executed using voice. This represented a large amount of data that wasn’t previously considered, illustrating a substantial gap in AI-powered, automated fixed-income modelling and trading. The strategic collaboration between IPC, which operates one of the largest networks for fixed-income voice trading in the world, and Overbond will ensure that this valuable voice data no longer goes uncaptured. What’s more exciting, as this trade data can now be captured and anonymised, is Overbond’s algorithms are now capable of pricing fixed-income instruments with greater accuracy. 

It is no secret that the bond markets have been one of the last holdouts in financial services’ digital transformation, however, the resistance has started to wane. Partnerships between organisations, like the one between IPC and Overbond, showcase the ability to bring innovative technologies together developing next-generation solutions for the fixed-income marketplace. The strategic collaboration with Overbond continues the digital transformation of fixed-income trading by fully harnessing the power of voice data. Both businesses support an open platform approach in terms of rethinking how financial institutions around the world trade, optimise productivity and engage in knowledge sharing.

In closing, the partnership between IPC and Overbond enables the integration of IPC’s point-of-trade voice transaction data with Overbond’s AI pricing and liquidity algorithms to bring precision to the automation of bond trades.

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