Trumid Raises $10 Million Amid Quest to Reshape Bond Trading

  • Previously raised $26 million from Soros, Thiel, others
  • Former Barclays CEO sees room for more bond platforms

Trumid Financial LLC, one of several startups trying to reshape how corporate bonds trade, raised $10 million from a group led by Delphi Financial Group.

The venture funding, announced in a statement, builds on a prior $26 million round that included money from billionaires George Soros and Peter Thiel. New York-based Trumid has also collected endorsements from former Barclays Plc chief Bob Diamond and Steve Pagliuca, co-chairman of Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. Delphi Financial is a unit of Japanese insurer Tokio Marine Holdings Inc.

Investors have for years complained that bonds are too hard to trade. In 2014, BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, called the market “broken.” One of its executives said this month that there need to be more all-to-all venues -- places where anyone can come together to buy and sell, as opposed to the status quo in which gatekeepers keep trading segregated. Trumid is one such all-to-all market.

“There is room for many, many more successful platforms given the dramatic reduction in capital allocated to the fixed-income business today,” Diamond said in an interview, referring to rules passed after the 2008 financial crisis that some believe make it more difficult for dealer-banks to hold bonds to enable their clients’ transactions. “Much more of the business is by definition matching buyers and sellers.”

Trumid’s ability to recruit high-profile supporters illustrates optimism that someone will be able to improve liquidity in the market. But success means thriving where others have failed and competing against a hundred electronic markets including larger incumbents such as Bloomberg LP, the parent of this news organization.

Diamond, who is now chief executive officer of Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, spoke at an April dinner hosted by Trumid, which has recruited liberally from the ranks of former high-profile traders to build its business across buy-side and sell-side accounts. Bain Capital’s Pagliuca also spoke at a dinner event hosted by the company.

“I saw the new technology and I’m impressed with Trumid’s ability to collaborate with their users to evolve their platform in concert with the changing corporate bond landscape,” Pagliuca said in an e-mailed statement.

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