What Makes a Great DCM Banker?


The prize for every DCM banker are the mandates, the successfully executed deals, a list of loyal issuer relationships and an even longer list of jealous competitors.


But as most coverage bankers will attest, once you have the mandate in hand, the hard part of the job is mostly done. It’s the ongoing client coverage and origination work that separates the great from the good.


The best DCM bankers act as an extension of an issuer’s funding team: they’re alert to the best issuance opportunities, provide insights on relevant market activity, structuring trends and investor demand, understand an issuer’s needs and consistently stay on top of relative value developments across markets and products. And, of course, they provide issuers with actionable and differentiated trade recommendations and pricings.


Staying on top of it all


Unfortunately when you have dozens of clients to look after, you can quickly find yourself playing catch-up and missing the talking points of the day.


To use a more specific example, in my previous job as a FIG DCM banker I covered over 20 different issuers at a time. Most of them would look at 2, 3 or sometimes 4 different currencies across 4 or 5 different products each. And hand on heart, on the above definition of a great DCM banker, I fell well short.


At least in part because the whole pre-trade process was so painfully manual and I had none of the productivity and analytics tools that other parts of the capital markets are used to. Secondary market traders, investors and sales people have a selection of EMS and OMS systems to handle all manners of trading workflows and data. The primary market is lagging woefully behind.


For an industry that’s known for its data intensity and quantitative approach, this is an amazing state to be in. The data is largely structured and the processes rigid – a prime area for automation and productivity tools.


Using data to your advantage


Sorting out all these manual workflows is a worthwhile goal in its own right, but more than that, there’s a huge missed opportunity by any bank not making use of all the data they generate beyond the one time snapshots they often rely on today. Once you track and manage new issue pricing and deal information holistically, it opens up new ways to derive valuable insights, differentiated content and the ability to learn from your own data.


First though, in order to determine new issue pricing you require timely, relevant and accurate market data. This is why we’ve partnered up with some of the most respected third party data providers in the fixed income space and now provide primary desks with a platform to consume and manage data in a way that’s tailor-made for the DCM and Syndicate workflow.


This includes moving away from multiple dependencies on terminals and spreadsheets and being able to work at full capacity from anywhere and on any device.


Imagine sorting out your weekly pricing grids on your iPad while you’re on the train, pulling the latest curves and new issue stats 5 minutes before you walk into that client meeting or sending issuers a fully-fledged update within minutes of a relevant market event with just a few clicks.


Time for a better way of working


It’s time to move away from weekly grids and pricing schedules to a more responsive model, where you engage clients as soon as there’s something interesting to say – or even better, execute.


Bots allows you to stay on top of market developments, spot issuance opportunities and convey relevant pricing information to issuers in an immediate and seamless way.


Our vision at Bots is to provide DCM and Syndicate bankers with a real time view on new issue pricing across all their clients, across all currencies and products and to streamline all connected workflows.


The results are higher market share through superior client coverage, less time wasted on manual tasks and an all-around happier team.


Our system is now in live use at two of the top 10 European DCM banks across teams in Europe and the US. We're in the process of expanding our currency footprint and will be live in Asia within a few months.


Yet we're only getting started and still have a long and exciting product roadmap to execute alongside our partner banks.


Follow us on Linkedin for all the latest updates. Or if you want to discuss how Bots may be able to support your DCM business, click on the Contact link in the main menu.


Stephan Gimpel

CEO & Co-founder

Bots - Bond Origination Technologies