Investment bankers have long looked to underwriting "league tables" for bragging rights. Now it's the traders' turn.
Greenwich Associates, an influential research and consulting firm, recently released its first public "league tables" for bond trading. The results may help traders pinpoint promising sources of future job and bonus opportunities - which usually are greatest within market-leading firms.
JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers tied for the lead in market share for U.S. fixed-income trading in 2007, Greenwich Associates says. The 1,300 institutional investors taking part in the survey also rated those two firms best in overall service quality across fixed-income sales, research and trading.
The next three slots in fixed-income market share went to Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Banc of America.
Citigroup, the leading bond underwriter according to Thomson Financial, was not among the top five in bond trading market share.
Banc of America, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch and RBS Greenwich Capital each raised their market share of fixed-income trading during the past 12 months, said Greenwich Associates consultant Tim Sangston. As for Lehman Brothers, Sangston said its share have been "consistently high" for several years.
Drilling into fixed-income product sectors, Merrill and Credit Suisse increased their shares of rates products (Treasurys, interest-rate derivatives and agencies), Morgan Stanley gained ground in credit products, and Banc of America gained in securitized products.
Greenwich interviewed officials at 1,333 institutions active in U.S. fixed income during March and April. The firm has conducted similar surveys for years, but previously reserved the findings for its customers. It still isn't releasing actual volume figures.
Investment Dealers Digest published additional sector details from the same survey that weren't in the press release from Greenwich Associates. "Lehman is the top-ranked firm in terms of rates market trading," followed by Deutsche and JPMorgan, the magazine said. "JPMorgan, by contrast, is the top-ranked firm for credit securities trading, followed by BofA and Lehman. And for securitizations, Lehman again is top-ranked, followed by a three-way tie for second place for Credit Suisse, BofA and Goldman."
Market participants gave Lehman the highest quality ranking for securitization and rates trading, while JPMorgan tied Lehman in credit trading, according to IDD.