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Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™ goes live with Norges Bank Investment Management

By Joy Dumasia

August 23, 2022

  • Appital
  • Asset Management
  • BookBuilder™
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Appital, the equity capital markets technology solution, and Turquoise, the pan-European MTF, majority owned by the London Stock Exchange Group, have launched Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™. This is the first buy-side to buy-side book-building platform to give institutional investors the opportunity to proactively source liquidity. They gain control over the entire book-building process by bringing a historically highly manual and opaque process into an automated, electronic platform. Buyside firms benefit from liquidity discovery, price formation opportunities for illiquid equity positions, and the ability to execute large volumes on the regulated Turquoise MTF, often in multiple days’ ADV, with minimal market impact or risk of price erosion. 

The European trading team of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norges Bank Investment Management, has successfully originated and executed the first trade through a series of bilateral transactions. The EMS vendors connected at the time of first trade include Flextrade, Factset’s Portware and TS Imagine. The deal was executed successfully using Turquoise, with Bernstein as the executing broker. Multiple global asset managers participated as part of a series of bilateral transactions.

Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™ is a significant milestone in Appital’s mission to bring innovation and efficiency to the book-building process. In the run-up to launch, Appital worked with forward-looking industry champions to develop the necessary technological infrastructure to support a new liquidity discovery mechanism and workflow, integrating with EMS providers FlexTrade, FactSet Portware and TS Imagine, and executing brokers Bernstein and Instinet. Through the integration with Turquoise, buy-side firms benefit from a single point of access and execution, with seamless straight-through-processing (STP) to more than 20 settlement destinations.

Mark Badyra, CEO of Appital, noted: “The launch of Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™ represents a step change for the asset management industry in the way they unlock and proactively drive liquidity in the market, ushering in a new era of automation in equity markets. From today, the buy-side community has greater exposure to deal flow opportunities they have not been able to access before, and investors can interact with like-minded institutions in the liquidity and price formation process.”

Dr Robert Barnes, Group Head of Securities Trading & CEO Turquoise Global Holdings at London Stock Exchange Group, commented: “Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™ delivers the next significant efficiency for asset managers and contributors of capital. Where bookbuilding is the appropriate mechanism to find the right price for large block trades, Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™ innovates with the world’s first automation of buy-side bookbuilding seamlessly integrating STP trading to settlement.”

Norges Bank Investment Management completed the first successful trade via Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™, validating the new buy-side workflow, from driving demand to bookbuilding, allocation, deal distribution and execution. Since its inception, Norges Bank Investment Management has been instrumental in refining this service, from feedback on integration with broker-neutral execution and order management system FlexTrade to shaping the visual interface for a smooth user experience. 

Emil Framnes, Global Head of Trading and Transition at Norges Bank Investment Management, commented: “Unlocking latent liquidity and executing multiple days’ ADV is essential to achieving our investment objectives. We welcome Appital’s innovative peer-to-peer access of hard-to-find liquidity and executing large volumes using Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™ without market impact or the risk of price erosion. Appital’s intuitive interface and integration made adoption easy.”

Greg Bennett, Chair of Appital and former Head of Capital Markets for EMEA & Americas for Fidelity International, commented: “Liquidity has been a systemic issue in the equity markets for years. Given the evolution of the electronification of markets, we have demonstrated that we have been able to both reverse the trend of shrinking trade sizes and offer the next evolution in the market for size with Appital Turquoise BookBuilder™.” 

Badyra concluded: “We have seen fantastic support for our mission to bring innovation to equity markets and are grateful to all the industry champions who have helped us deliver a new workflow for the buy-side, giving them full control over the book building and deal distribution process. We look forward to continuing our collaborations to the benefit of the industry and making our platform available to an increasing number of global and local asset managers.”

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