Liquidnet launches Virtual High Touch for Fixed Income

Liquidnet, the leading global institutional trading network, announced the launch of Virtual High Touch (VHT) for Fixed Income.


Stephen Grady, Non-Executive Director Liquidnet

An intelligent execution workflow designed to augment the corporate bond trader’s decision making process, Virtual High Touch (VHT) evaluates order characteristics, market data, liquidity conditions, and user preferences to suggest an optimal execution strategy for different groups of orders. The platform has already over 390 users, with the numbers growing daily.


In June, Liquidnet launched its Algo Ranking Model in Europe, after a successful introduction in the U.S. The model is a feature in the Liquidnet Virtual High Touch™ offering, which combines advanced data analytics, unique liquidity search tools and trading algorithms, MiFID II solutions and real-time market intelligence. Decisions made along the execution process are automatically captured in an electronic audit trail to comply with regulatory and best execution requirements.


The customizable nature of Virtual High Touch gives Liquidnet Members the ability to manage different order types through multiple liquidity search options across both dark and lit protocols. This helps Members find natural liquidity for their larger, harder-to-trade orders by targeting latent liquidity, as well as help achieve mid-price execution for their more liquid, easier-to-trade bond orders.


Kevin McPartland, Head of Market Structure and Technology Research at Greenwich Associates

Constantinos Antoniades, Global Head of Fixed Income at Liquidnet, said: “In the two years since we’ve launched our corporate bond platform, we’ve partnered with our Members to build a strong community and now, a solution that brings together the right combination of technology and control. Virtual High Touch is all about leveraging data and an intelligent execution framework to increase efficiency and help our Members achieve their goals.”


Kevin McPartland, Head of Market Structure and Technology Research at Greenwich Associates, commented: “While corporate bond trading still relies heavily on personal interactions and trust, technology innovation has allowed those relationships to remain intact but become more effective and efficient. Providing a level of automation to the current process is a necessary step forward in this newly electronified market.”


November 2017 was VHT’s strongest month to date, setting a new record with average daily liquidity of $12B with an average trade size of $3.0M.


Liquidnet has recently published a study that found 70% of the buy-side looks for non-traditional liquidity providers and only 6% of those surveyed believed they were currently ready to meet best execution requirements.


Patrick Strobel, Head of Technology in EMEA Liquidnet

In August, Liqduidnet launched Targeted Invitations for Algos in Europe, allowing buy-side traders to seek out additional block liquidity by sending actionable invitations within the Liquidnet community, while still keeping both sides of the trade anonymous.


Following a series of appointments this year, including Stephen Grady as Non-Executive Director and Takis Christas as Head of Trading Strategies EMEA, Liquidnet tapped Patrick Strobel as Head of Technology in EMEA.