Title:
Differential Commission and Electronic Order Matching Process for the Distribution of Primary Market Fixed Income Securities
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus and process (collectively the “system”) for conducting and managing the primary offering of fixed income securities, specifically, but not exclusively, fixed rate municipal bonds at different prices for like maturities over electronic networks, particularly, but not exclusively, the Internet, is disclosed.



Inventors:
Heppenstall, Talbot C. (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Application Number:
14/068206
Publication Date:
06/12/2014
Filing Date:
10/31/2013
Assignee:
PriMunt LLC (Pittsburgh, PA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G06Q40/04; G06Q40/00; G06F
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KHATTAR, RAJESH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE WEBB LAW FIRM, P.C. (ONE GATEWAY CENTER 420 FT. DUQUESNE BLVD, SUITE 1200, PITTSBURGH, PA, 15222, US)
Claims:
1. 1-34. (canceled)

35. A computer-implemented communication and order matching method for fixed income securities, comprising: building and maintaining an inquiry database; building and maintaining a syndicate inputs database; comparing the inquiry database with the syndicate inputs database; and identifying matches between the data in the inquiry database and the syndicate inputs database.

36. The method of claim 35, further comprising: receiving inputs from at least one broker dealer; comparing the inquiry database and syndicate inputs database matches to the broker dealer inputs; and assessing compliance of the order solicitation generations by the results of the comparison.

37. The method of claim 36, wherein the at least one broker dealer inputs comprise at least one field that contains data regarding one of maximum sales credits and a suitability rating.

38. The method of claim 35, wherein the method is further employed in a secondary market.

39. The method of claim 35, wherein the inquiry database comprises at least one field that contains at least one of the following: a desired commission, a minimum commission, a maximum commission, a commission range acceptable to the a first offerer, or any combination thereof.

40. The method of claim 35, wherein the inquiry database comprises at least one field that contains at least one of the following: a desired commission, a minimum commission, a maximum commission, a commission range acceptable to a subsequent offerer, or any combination thereof.

41. The method of claim 35, wherein an offerer enters data to build the inquiry database.

42. The method of claim 41, wherein the offerer is at least one of the following: a broker, a retail salesperson, an institutional salesperson, or any combination thereof.

43. The method of claim 35, wherein the inquiry database comprises at least one field that contains data regarding at least one of the following: state of issuer, minimum maturity date, maximum maturity date, federal tax-exempt status, state tax-exempt status, bank-qualified status, alternative minimum tax, AAA Insurance status, minimum underlying rating, desired commission, maximum price, minimum commission, minimum coupon, minimum yield, brokerage name, investor name, investor account number, or any combination thereof.

44. The method of claim 35, wherein the inquiry database is comprised of multiple discrete databases.

45. The method of claim 44, wherein the multiple databases are linked.

46. The method of claim 35, wherein the data regarding an individual inquiry in the inquiry database is only maintained for a set period.

47. The method of claim 46, wherein the period is about 14 days.

48. The method of claim 46, wherein, after the set period expires, a notice is transmitted to the originator of the individual inquiry data.

49. The method of claim 48, wherein the originator is at least one of the following: a user, a broker, a customer, a retail salesperson, an institutional salesperson, or any combination thereof.

50. The method of claim 35, further comprising receiving authorization from a brokerage firm to generate an order solicitation.

51. The method of claim 35, wherein the inquiry database is updated by at least one of a user, a broker, a sales assistant, a customer, a retail salesperson and an institutional salesperson.

52. The method of claim 35, wherein syndicate representatives enter data to build the syndicate inputs database.

53. The method of claim 35, wherein the syndicate inputs database comprises at least one field that contains data regarding at least one of the following: name of issuer, title of issue/series, state of issuer, lead underwriter, award date, dated date, settlement date, first interest payment date, federal tax-exempt, state tax-exempt, bank-qualified, alternative minimum tax, call date first, call price first, call date par, AAA insurance, letter of credit bank, letter of credit expiration, liquidity provider, liquidity expiration, Moody's Rating, S&P Rating, Fitch Rating, date—serial nos., date—term nos., initial reoffering price—serial nos., initial reoffering price—term nos., coupon—serial nos., coupon—term nos., maximum sales commissions—serial nos., maximum commissions—term nos., initial reoffering yield—serial nos., initial reoffering yield—term nos., or any combination thereof.

54. The method of claim 35, wherein the fixed income security is at least one of the following: a municipal bond, a corporate bond, a government agency security, or any combination thereof.

55. The method of claim 35, wherein the syndicate inputs database is comprised of multiple discrete databases.

56. The method of claim 55, wherein the multiple databases are linked.

57. The method of claim 35, further comprising generating an order solicitation based upon the matches between the inquiry database and the syndicate inputs database.

58. The method of claim 57, further comprising placing an order, by a buyer, based upon the generated order solicitation.

59. The method of claim 58, wherein the buyer is at least one of the following: a user, a broker, a sales assistant, a customer, a retail salesperson, an institutional salesperson, an investor, a retail investor, an institutional investor, or any combination thereof.

60. The method of claim 35, further comprising placing an order, by a buyer, based upon the matches.

61. The method of claim 60, wherein the buyer is at least one of the following: a user, a broker, a sales assistant, a customer, a retail salesperson, an institutional salesperson, an investor, a retail investor, an institutional investor, or any combination thereof.

62. The method of claim 35, further comprising generating a notice to a user that a particular price will allow the user to earn the lower of a desired commission and the maximum commission for the fixed income security, as agreed to by an underwriter.

63. The method of claim 35, wherein the fixed income security is a municipal bond offered on the primary market.

64. The method of claim 63, further comprising: matching a user's preferred range of issue states from the inquiry database with a state of issue from the syndicate inputs database; matching the user's preferred range of maturities from the inquiry database with a fixed income security issue maturity range from the syndicate inputs database; matching the user's four dimensions of tax status from the inquiry database with a fixed income security tax status from the syndicate inputs database; matching the user's preferred ratings from the inquiry database with a fixed income security rating from the syndicate inputs database; matching the user's preferred minimum suitability rating from the inquiry database with a fixed income security minimum suitability rating from the syndicate inputs database; and based upon any matches, increasing a sales credit to a maximum amount, as determined by data in at least one of the inquiry and the syndicate inputs database.

65. The method of claim 64, further comprising matching a user's preferred bond insurance status from the inquiry database with a fixed income security bond insurance status from the syndicate inputs database.

66. The method of claim 65, wherein the bond insurance status indicates whether the fixed income security is covered by AAA insurance.

67. An apparatus for implementing a differential commission method for the distribution of primary market fixed income securities, comprising: a computer having a computer-readable storage medium with program instructions stored thereon, which, when executed by at least one processor of the computer, cause the processor to: build and maintain an inquiry database; build and maintain a syndicate inputs database; compare the inquiry database with the syndicate inputs database; and identify matches between the data in the inquiry database and the syndicate inputs database.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation application of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/526,841, filed Sep. 25, 2006, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/415,304, filed Aug. 20, 2003 (issued on Jan. 16, 2007 as U.S. Pat. No. 7,165,048), which is a 371 of PCT/US01/45638, filed Nov. 2, 2001, which claims benefit of priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/245,512, filed Nov. 3, 2000, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to a method of matching buyers, particularly buyers of smaller amounts, and sellers of fixed income securities at different prices and commissions for like maturities, specifically, but not exclusively, municipal bonds, over electronic networks, specifically, but not exclusively, the Internet.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Primary Market

An example of the prior art process is shown in FIG. 1 and the tables below. In FIG. 1, issuers (A1) offer bonds for sale to a broker dealer acting as an underwriter (A2) either through a competitive or negotiated process. This prior art process requires that personnel at the syndicate desk (B2) of the underwriter (A2) communicate (either telephonically or by facsimile) the pricing to personnel at retail trading desks (C2, C3) at both the underwriter and at other brokerage firm(s) (Row C) in the selling group. This pricing information typically includes the coupon, maturity, price, yield and commission for each separate security of the fixed income debt instrument issued. A sample of typical pricing information follows as Table 1:

TABLE 1
Pricing Sheet
MaturitySales
January 1PrincipalCouponYieldPriceCommission
2002100,0005.10%5.15%0.999520.250
2003200,0005.20%5.20%1.000000.250
2004300,0005.30%5.35%0.998630.375
2005400,0005.40%5.45%0.998220.375
2006500,0005.50%5.55%0.997840.375
2007600,0005.65%5.60%1.002510.625
2008700,0005.75%5.70%1.002850.625
2009800,0005.85%5.85%1.000000.625
2010900,0005.95%6.00%0.996560.500

Fixed income debt instruments are often structured with multiple maturing securities, with each individual security having a common coupon and maturity date and identified by a separate CUSIP (Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures) number. The pricing information includes the amount of the primary market sales commission for each individual security. Current market practice suggests that each originally issued security offered in the primary market be sold at the same price regardless of the size of the order. The individual securities identified by a like CUSIP are also often sold to different types of buyers in both larger institutional and smaller retail denominations. Retail trading desks usually use sales assistants to contact the retail brokers (Row D of FIG. 1) who then solicit retail investors (Row E) for orders. This prior art system is extremely labor-intensive, with several steps requiring human interaction that add time and cost to the overall sale process. Since primary market sales commissions are generally not sufficient to compensate retail brokers to complete this process for smaller, retail orders, the fixed income market (specifically, but not exclusively, the municipal bond market) has developed a process using the secondary market that completes those sales. As a result of this process, most retail investors purchase fixed income securities through brokers, however, more often in the secondary market than in the primary market.

Secondary Market

The inefficiency of the prior art process is demonstrated by the example that over 34% of all municipal bonds outstanding are held by retail investors (Federal Reserve Board, Flow of Funds Accounts, Flows and Outstandings, First Quarter, 2000) while research indicates that only 12.5% of the bonds are initially sold to retail investors at the initial re-offering prices (primary market). The remaining 21.5% of municipal bonds reach the retail investor during the first six months after issuance in the secondary market. A major barrier to effective retail distribution of originally issued fixed income securities, particularly but not exclusively, municipal bonds, has been the inability, given brokerage firm cost structures, for retail brokers to write a ticket for a small purchase of bonds during the initial offering period. The median size purchase of municipal bonds in the market is $25,000, which clearly indicates strong retail trading in the market.

Primary market sales commissions (generally between 0.25% and 0.50% of the par amount) generate between $62 and $125 for $25,000 orders. These commissions are not competitive with other financial products offered by brokerage firms to their retail clients, including secondary market municipal bonds. Under current industry practice, broker-dealers or institutional investors purchase primary market bonds from underwriters and convert higher yields (in the form of original issue discount or coupon payments) into commission dollars in the secondary market by marking up the price of the bonds. After the markups, retail brokers redistribute the bonds to retail investors with higher commissions.

Table 2 shows an example of the existing prior art process using the secondary market.

TABLE 2
Existing Process
SalesProceeds from
OrderPriceYieldCommissionSale of Bonds
Size($)(%)(%)%Dollars%Dollars
Primary Market
A1100,00098.505.70.5050098.0098,000
B120,00098.505.70.5010098.0019,600
Secondary Market
B220,00099.005.651.00200
XB310,000100.005.551.00100
YB410,000100.505.501.50150

This example assumes that the retail investors shown in line X and Y each want $10,000 of municipal bonds. The issuer sells $120,000 of bonds that are initially offered for sale to the public by the underwriter at a price of 98.50%, which reflects an “original issue discount” of 1.50%. In addition, the underwriter charges the issuer a sales commission (or underwriting fee) of 0.50%. The issuer's total cost is 5.75%. The prior art process includes the same sales commission for an order that would be obtained from a typical institutional investor (shown on line A1 of Table 2) or from a typical retail investor (shown on line B1 of Table 2).

Under the prior art process, retail brokers are unlikely to submit the $10,000 orders in the primary market because the sales commissions are lower than commissions paid on other investments. In this example, the underwriting firm received no retail orders for the bonds on Line B1 of Table 2 and decided to sell the bonds to another brokerage firm in the secondary market, as shown on Line B2 of Table 2. The underwriter increased the price of the bonds (see FIG. 2) $100 to increase the commission and thereby lowered the yield to 5.65%. This resulted in commissions of $200 to the underwriter, or twice as much as the firm would have made by selling the bonds in the primary market to retail investors. The brokerage firm then resells $10,000 of the bonds to a retail investor (X) at a yield of 5.55% and earns an additional $100 in sales commissions, as shown on Line B3 of Table 2. The same brokerage firm resells the other $10,000 to another retail investor (Y) at a yield of 5.50% and earns an additional $150, as shown on Line B4 of Table 2. The total cost of distributing this $20,000 in bonds to retail investors was $450 or 2.25% of the amount of the bonds sold. The issuer paid all of these costs, which included $100 as disclosed initially in an underwriting fee and $350 in the form of the higher yield of 5.70%.

Secondary market markups are a cost not just to the retail investor, but also to the issuer of the municipal bonds. The existence of this inefficient distribution system creates more profit (and risk) for financial intermediaries at the expense of both issuers and investors. Known patents in the field include U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,809,483; 5,915,209; 6,161,099 and 6,236,972.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, a drawback that the prior art process has focused on institutional distribution of fixed income securities in the primary market. It is another drawback of the prior art that all fixed income securities are sold at the same price, regardless of quantity purchased. People skilled in the art believe that regulatory agencies prohibit the sales of smaller lot sizes of bonds at higher prices during the initial offering period. It is a further drawback of the prior art that information regarding primary market fixed income securities issues is not provided to Retail Investors in time for them to participate in the primary market distribution process.

In order to overcome these drawbacks, the present invention is directed to a differential commission and electronic order matching process for the distribution of primary fixed income securities. Further, the present invention is an apparatus and process (collectively the “system”) for conducting and managing sales in the primary market of fixed income securities, specifically, but not exclusively, fixed rate municipal bonds, at different prices for like maturities over electronic networks, particularly, but not exclusively, the Internet.

The system of the present invention includes a differential commission method for the distribution of primary market fixed income securities, including the steps of: (a) purchasing from an issuer, by an underwriter, at least one fixed income security in the primary market; (b) offering the at least one fixed income security to at least one investor; (c) setting, by a first offerer, a price, including a commission, for the at least one fixed income security; (d) setting, by a subsequent offerer, a different price including a different commission, for the at least one fixed income security; and (e) purchasing, by the at least one investor, the at least one fixed income security.

The system of the present invention also includes a computer-implemented communication and order matching method for fixed income securities, including the steps of: (1) building and maintaining an inquiry database; (2) building and maintaining a syndicate inputs database; (3) comparing the inquiry database with the syndicate inputs database; and (4) identifying matches between the data in the inquiry database and the syndicate inputs database.

The present invention, both as to its construction and method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a prior art system for the retail distribution and purchase of fixed income securities;

FIG. 2 is a chart of a typical secondary market bond “mark up” in the prior art system for the retail distribution and purchase of fixed income securities;

FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of a differential commission method for the distribution of primary market fixed income securities according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a computer-implemented communication and order matching method for fixed income securities according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of method for managing the sale of municipal bonds in the system of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a screen print of an example of an electronic order solicitation generated by the method shown in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is a Differential Commission Method (the “process”) that will allow issuers to directly access retail investors by electronically incorporating current secondary market pricing practices during a primary offering. Further, the present invention is a system for conducting and managing sales in the offering of fixed income securities, specifically, but not exclusively, fixed rate municipal bonds, at different prices for like maturities over electronic networks, particularly, but not exclusively, the Internet (the “system”). The process and system are advantageous over prior art arrangements in that they: (1) increase the amount of primary market retail distribution and, hence, market efficiency; (2) increase yields earned by retail investors; (3) lower the borrowing costs of municipal bond issuers; (4) improve price transparency in the municipal bond market; (5) increase revenues for underwriters by increasing retail volume; (6) assist firms to monitor retail suitability for municipal bonds; (7) improve customer relations between retail brokers and investors; and (8) reduce inventory/holding risk for broker dealers.

The process consists of the Differential Primary Commission Structure, which may be utilized with the Electronic Communications and Order Matching System. Issuers, investors, brokerage firms and underwriters will be able to implement the Differential Primary Commission Structure across a virtual network of broker-dealers that can be formed and disbanded using the system for each particular issue.

Differential Primary Commission Structure

The Differential Primary Commission Structure (DPCS) will provide investors with higher yields, borrowers with lower costs and retail brokers with the ability to charge fair commissions for smaller primary market orders. Retail brokers will sell primary market bonds to investors for any fair combination of yield and commission, with maximum commissions determined by each brokerage firm or the issuer.

This DPCS is a differential commission method for the distribution of primary market fixed income securities. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the DPCS preferably includes the steps of: (a) purchasing from an issuer, by an underwriter, at least one fixed income security on the primary market; (b) offering the at least one fixed income security to at least one investor; (c) setting, by a first offerer, a price, including a commission, for the at least one fixed income security; (d) setting, by a subsequent offerer, a different price, including a different commission, for the at least one fixed income security; and (e) purchasing, by the at least one investor, the at least one fixed income security. It is this ability of a first or subsequent offerer to set a different commission for the fixed income security in the primary market that recognizes particular benefits. The fixed income security may be a municipal bond, a corporate bond, a government agency security, etc.

Tables 3 and 4 below outline the changes to the prior art that the present invention will permit.

TABLE 3
DPCS Process
SalesProceeds from
OrderPriceCommissionSale of Bonds
Size(%)Yield%Dollars%Dollars
Primary Market
A1100,00098.5005.70.5050098.00098,000
B310,00099.5005.601.0010098.509,850
B410,000100.005.551.5015098.509,850

In Table 3, the same orders described in B3 and B4 of Table 2 occur in the primary market instead of the secondary market. The DPCS, by removing the initial markup charged by the underwriting firm to other brokerage firms in Line B2 of Table 2, allows retail investors to purchase the bonds with yields that are 5 basis points higher than Table 2. The DPCS provides the retail brokers with the same sales commission ($250). By increasing the issuer's proceeds (from $117,600 to $117,700) the structure will lower the issuer's costs by 5 basis points.

TABLE 4
Comparison
ExistingDPCS
Yields Earned by Investor X5.555.60
Yields Earned by Investor Y5.505.55
Sales Commissioned by Retail Brokers$250$250
Issuer's Sales Proceeds from Bonds117,600117,700
Issuer's Total Cost5.755.70

The DPCS will improve the ability of broker-dealers to sell originally issued bonds directly to retail investors. The present invention will make the fixed income market, particularly but not exclusively, the municipal bond market, more efficient and provide issuers with lower interest costs through wider distribution.

The present invention also provides a solution to regulatory concerns over appropriate markups, price transparency and investor suitability for municipal bonds. For example, a primary goal of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to increase price transparency in the municipal bond market. By moving retail distribution from the secondary market to the primary market, the process will improve price transparency. The total sales commission would be disclosed to the retail customer on the confirmation. The retail commissions that would be charged through the process would be smaller than secondary markups because the broker-dealer's inventory risk is eliminated.

The first or subsequent offerer's commission may be set within a predetermined range, e.g., from around 0% to around 4% of the principal amount of the fixed income security. The offerer is typically a broker, a retail salesperson or an institutional salesperson, and the investor is typically either a retail investor or an institutional investor. The issuer may determine a portion of the fixed income security price, which would result in an issuer cost savings.

The present invention is also directed to an apparatus for implementing a differential commission method for the distribution of primary market fixed income securities, including: means for purchasing from an issuer, by an underwriter, at least one fixed income security on the primary market; means for offering the at least one fixed income security to at least one investor; means for setting, by a first offerer, a price including a commission, for the at least one fixed income security; means for setting, by a subsequent offerer, a different price, including a different commission, for the at least one fixed income security; and means for purchasing, by the at least one investor, the at least one fixed income security.

Electronic Communication and Order Matching System

The Electronic Communication and Order Matching System of the present invention will provide groups of broker-dealers and issuers with an apparatus and computer-implemented system to implement the Differential Primary Commission Structure (or process) for the sale of new fixed income securities. In a preferred embodiment, the system will search multiple databases and find multiple matches between demand represented by inquiries (the “inquiries”) and supply represented by underwriting syndicates (the “syndicate inputs”). The system may generate Electronic Order Solicitations to the users in the initial embodiment or may execute an order in another embodiment. In a preferred embodiment, the system performs step 1 through step 4 shown in FIG. 4; in particular: (1) building and maintaining an inquiry database; (2) building and maintaining a syndicate inputs database; (3) comparing the inquiry database with the syndicate inputs database; and (4) identifying matches between the data in the inquiry database and the syndicate inputs database. This method is equally effective in both the primary market, as well as the secondary market.

In step 1, the system builds and maintains an inquiry database. For example, the inquiry database may contain retail inquiry data, which are completed for retail customers by retail brokers for each potential purchase of bonds. The offerer or broker may input the necessary data into the inquiry database. In addition, the inquiry database may be comprised of multiple discrete databases, and these databases may be linked. These databases may be updated by a user, a broker, a customer, a retail salesperson, an institutional salesperson, and the like.

As described in the process above, the inquiry database may include fields containing information directed to a desired commission, a minimum commission, a maximum commission and/or a commission range acceptable to a first offerer. Similarly, the inquiry database may include fields directed to a desired commission, a minimum commission, a maximum commission and a commission range acceptable to a subsequent offerer. The term “offerer” includes brokers, retail salespersons, institutional salespersons, and the like.

The system will maintain the inquiry database that contains the inquiries entered by the offerers or brokers. Data regarding an individual inquiry in the inquiry database may only be maintained for a set period. After the set period expires, a notice is transmitted to the originator of the individual inquiry data. The originator may be a user, a broker, a customer, a retail salesperson, an institutional salesperson, and the like. For example, in a preferred embodiment, inquiries will only be maintained for two weeks. After two weeks, the system may send a notice to the broker to confirm that the inquiry is still current. The information contained in each inquiry will enable the system to solicit orders for bonds that are suitable to each particular investor. As shown in Table 5, one example of an inquiry, in this case a retail inquiry, is as follows:

TABLE 5
Retail Inquiry
FieldCharacter
NumberFields for Retail BrokerField TypeLength
R1State of IssuerAlphanumeric2
R2Minimum Maturity DateDate10
R3Maximum Maturity DateDate10
R4Federal Tax-ExemptAlphanumeric1
R5State Tax-ExemptAlphanumeric1
R6Bank-QualifiedAlphanumeric1
R7Alternative Minimum TaxAlphanumeric1
R8AAA InsuredAlphanumeric15
R9Minimum Underlying RatingAlphanumeric7
R10Maximum PricePercent8
R11Minimum CommissionPercent8
R12Minimum CouponPercent8
R13Minimum YieldPercent8
R14Brokerage FirmAlphanumeric50
R15Broker NameAlphanumeric50
R16Investor NameAlphanumeric50
R17Investor Account NumberAlphanumeric20

Other inquiries could be used that would expand upon this information.

The system will use the information concerning the brokerage firm (R14), the broker (R15) and the investor (R16 and R17) only to notify the broker of a match. The system will match individual retail investors only upon approval from each brokerage firm in the selling group. This ensures that the retail investors and the broker are unknown to the syndicate manager until after an order has been placed.

The information in fields R1-R13 above is descriptive of the specific demand of the retail investor. Since municipal bonds have different tax treatment based on the state of issue and the residence of the investor; most retail investors have a preference for bonds issued in their own state. Field R1 provides the preferred state or states of the investor.

Fields R2 and R3 describe the maturity range that the investor prefers. Retail brokers will be able to specify either a range of dates or one specific date.

Fields R4 through R7 describe the retail investor's tax preferences. Field R8 checks whether this investor, as many retail investors do, has a preference for insured bonds. If the investor is willing to consider uninsured bonds, Field R9 describes the minimum rating acceptable to the investor.

Fields R10 through R13 describe the acceptable pricing parameters, including Maximum Price (R10), Minimum Commission (R11), Minimum Coupon (R12) and Minimum Yield (R13).

The fields will be cross-checked by the system against corresponding syndicate input fields using the method illustrated in FIG. 4 and described in “Primary Market Distribution Function” below. The inquiries will be updated by the brokers or the sales assistants as needed. As discussed above, the system returns each inquiry to the user after two weeks.

In the next step, step 2 of FIG. 4, the system builds and maintains a syndicate inputs database. Typically, a syndicate representative enters the data to build the syndicate inputs database. As with the inquiry database, the syndicate inputs database may be comprised of multiple discrete databases, which may be linked. The syndicate representative may view a summary of the data in the inquiry database. Generally these syndicate pricing inputs may be open for the retail and institutional or both order period. In a preferred embodiment, the syndicate inputs database contains information as follows in Table 6:

TABLE 6
Syndicate Inputs
FieldCharacter
NumberFields for Syndicate ManagerField TypeLength
S1Name of IssuerAlphanumeric150
S2Title of Issue/SeriesAlphanumeric150
S3State of IssuerAlphanumeric2
S4Lead UnderwriterAlphanumeric20
S5Award DateDate10
S6Dated DateDate10
S7Settlement DateDate10
S8First Interest Payment DateDate10
S9Federal Tax-ExemptAlphanumeric1
S10State Tax-ExemptAlphanumeric1
S11Bank-QualifiedAlphanumeric1
S12Alternative Minimum TaxAlphanumeric1
S13Call Date FirstDate10
S14Call Price FirstPercent8
S15Call Date ParDate10
S16AAA InsuranceAlphanumeric15
S17Letter of Credit BankAlphanumeric15
S18Letter of Credit ExpirationDate10
S19Liquidity ProviderAlphanumeric15
S20Liquidity ExpirationDate10
S21Moody's RatingAlphanumeric7
S22S&P RatingAlphanumeric7
S23Fitch RatingAlphanumeric7
S24Date - Serial 01Date10
S25Date - Serial 02Date10
S26Date - Serial 03Date10
S27Date - Serial 04Date10
S28Date - Serial 05Date10
S29Date - Serial 06Date10
S30Date - Serial 07Date10
S31Date - Serial 08Date10
S32Date - Serial 09Date10
S33Date - Serial 10Date10
S34Date - Serial 11Date10
S35Date - Serial 12Date10
S36Date - Serial 13Date10
S37Date - Serial 14Date10
S38Date - Serial 15Date10
S39Date - Serial 16Date10
S40Date - Serial 17Date10
S41Date - Serial 18Date10
S42Date - Serial 19Date10
S46Date - Term 03Date10
S47Date - Term 04Date10
S48Date - Term 05Date10
S49Date - Term 06Date10
S50Date - Term 07Date10
S51Date - Term 08Date10
S52Date - Term 09Date10
S53Date - Term 10Date10
S54Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 01Percent8
S55Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 02Percent8
S56Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 03Percent8
S57Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 04Percent8
S58Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 05Percent8
S59Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 06Percent8
S60Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 07Percent8
S61Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 08Percent8
S62Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 09Percent8
S63Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 10Percent8
S64Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 11Percent8
S65Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 12Percent8
S66Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 13Percent8
S67Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 14Percent8
S68Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 15Percent8
S69Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 16Percent8
S70Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 17Percent8
S71Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 18Percent8
S72Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 19Percent8
S73Initial Reoffering Price - Serial 20Percent8
S74Initial Reoffering Price - Term 01Percent8
S75Initial Reoffering Price - Term 02Percent8
S76Initial Reoffering Price - Term 03Percent8
S77Initial Reoffering Price - Term 04Percent8
S78Initial Reoffering Price - Term 05Percent8
S79Initial Reoffering Price - Term 06Percent8
S80Initial Reoffering Price - Term 07Percent8
S81Initial Reoffering Price - Term 08Percent8
S82Initial Reoffering Price - Term 09Percent8
S83Initial Reoffering Price - Term 10Percent8
S84Coupon - Serial 01Percent8
S85Coupon - Serial 02Percent8
S86Coupon - Serial 03Percent8
S87Coupon - Serial 04Percent8
S88Coupon - Serial 05Percent8
S89Coupon - Serial 06Percent8
S90Coupon - Serial 07Percent8
S91Coupon - Serial 08Percent8
S92Coupon - Serial 09Percent8
S93Coupon - Serial 10Percent8
S94Coupon - Serial 11Percent8
S95Coupon - Serial 12Percent8
S96Coupon - Serial 13Percent8
S97Coupon - Serial 14Percent8
S98Coupon - Serial 15Percent8
S99Coupon - Serial 16Percent8
S100Coupon - Serial 17Percent8
S101Coupon - Serial 18Percent8
S102Coupon - Serial 19Percent8
S103Coupon - Serial 20Percent8
S104Coupon - Term 01Percent8
S105Coupon - Term 02Percent8
S106Coupon - Term 03Percent8
S107Coupon - Term 04Percent8
S108Coupon - Term 05Percent8
S109Coupon - Term 06Percent8
S110Coupon - Term 07Percent8
S111Coupon - Term 08Percent8
S112Coupon - Term 09Percent8
S113Coupon - Term 10Percent8
S114Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 01
S115Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 02
S116Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 03
S117Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 04
S118Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 05
S119Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 06
S120Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 07
S121Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 08
S122Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 09
S123Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 10
S124Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 11
S125Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 12
S126Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 13
S127Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 14
S128Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 15
S129Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 16
S130Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 17
S131Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 18
S132Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 19
S133Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Serial 20
S134Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 01
S135Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 02
S136Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 03
S137Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 04
S138Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 05
S139Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 06
S140Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 07
S141Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 08
S142Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 09
S143Maximum Sales Commission -Percent8
Term 10
S144Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 01Percent8
S145Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 02Percent8
S146Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 03Percent8
S147Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 04Percent8
S148Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 05Percent8
S149Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 06Percent8
S150Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 07Percent8
S151Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 08Percent8
S152Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 09Percent8
S153Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 10Percent8
S154Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 11Percent8
S155Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 12Percent8
S156Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 13Percent8
S157Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 14Percent8
S158Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 15Percent8
S159Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 16Percent8
S160Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 17Percent8
S161Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 18Percent8
S162Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 19Percent8
S163Initial Reoffering Yield - Serial 20Percent8
S164Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 01Percent8
S165Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 02Percent8
S166Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 03Percent8
S167Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 04Percent8
S168Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 05Percent8
S169Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 06Percent8
S170Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 07Percent8
S171Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 08Percent8
S172Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 09Percent8
S173Initial Reoffering Yield - Term 10Percent8

This information is entered by the syndicate manager for a municipal bond issue. This is only one example of how the syndicate inputs database might appear. Fields are divided into general information concerning the bond issue (S1-S23) and into the following categories: maturity dates (S24-S53); minimum price (S54-S83); coupon rate (S84-S113); maximum sales commissions (S114-S143); and yield (S144-S173).

After receipt or input of the information derived in steps 1 and 2, the system performs the Primary Market Distribution Function or process (steps 3 and 4 of FIG. 4). This process entails comparing the inquiry database against the syndicate inputs database for each new issue (step 3). Next, the process will identify all matches between the syndicate inputs and the profiles (step 4). In steps 3 and 4, a user of the system enters an inquiry or an order that represents a potential purchase of fixed income securities. This information includes the commission, if any, that the user desires to earn. The system compares this information with information provided by the underwriter (on behalf of the issuer) during the primary offering process of originally issued bonds. If the system identifies a match, it notifies the user. Included in the notification may be the particular price that will allow the user to earn the lower of his desired commission or the maximum commission for that maturity agreed to by the underwriter and the issuer for that particular issue. Importantly, different offerers may input different desired commission amounts within their own set ranges. Using the DPCS of the present invention, the system performs appropriate database querying and matching in steps 3 and 4.

FIG. 5 illustrates the method of steps 3 and 4 in FIG. 4 that the system would execute when operating with municipal bonds. In this embodiment, the fixed income security is a municipal bond offered on the primary market. This method includes the steps of: matching a user's preferred range of issue states from the inquiry database with a state of issue from the syndicate inputs database (step 100); matching the user's preferred range of maturities from the inquiry database with a fixed income security issue maturity range from the syndicate inputs database (step 200); matching the user's four dimensions of tax status from the inquiry database with a fixed income security tax status from the syndicate inputs database (step 300); matching the user's preferred ratings from the inquiry database with a fixed income security rating from the syndicate inputs database (step 400); matching the user's preferred minimum suitability rating from the inquiry database with a fixed income security minimum suitability rating from the syndicate inputs database (step 500); and based upon any matches, increasing a sales credit to a maximum amount, as determined by data in at least one of the inquiry and the syndicate inputs database (step 600).

This method will perform the six steps illustrated in FIG. 5 for each open inquiry and syndicate pricing input. The first step (100) checks whether the new issue meets the investor's state preference. In this step, the method determines the range if the retail states desired match the state of issue. If no state is entered, the method proceeds.

The next step (200) checks whether the investor's desired range is within the range of maturities for the new issue. This step checks whether the desired maturity date of retail investor is in the range of issue maturities.

The next step (300) matches the four dimensions of the tax status of the investor's preferences against the new issue. All retail investor requests for tax status must match issue specification. If no detailed preferences, the method proceeds.

The next step (400) checks the investor's rating preferences (including bond insurance) versus the syndicate pricing. First, the method checks for retail investor's desire for AAA insurance. If no match occurs, the method entails requesting a minimum credit rating.

In the next step (500), the method performs the previously described test by investors for minimum suitability. This step ensures the minimum suitability rating of the investor.

In the last step (600), the method performs the pricing parameter matching formula. This step determines if any bonds meet the criteria. If the bond(s) do meet the criteria, the method increases sales credit to the maximum amount, as determined by retail, firm or syndicate parameters. The result of the test will be the combination of price, commission and yield that meet the issuer and investor's parameters at the lowest clearing price and the highest yield. As shown in Table 7, an example of the pricing parameters test is a follows:

TABLE 7
Example of Pricing Parameters Test
SYNDICATE/FIRM INPUTSRETAIL INPUTS
DATED:12/01/00MIN COUPON (R12):5.000%
SETTLE:12/01/00MIN YIELD (R13)5.250%
MATURITY:12/01/10MAX PRICE (R10)100.000%
COUPON:5.000%MIN COMMISSION
YIELD:5.500%(R11)
PRICE TO ISSUER:96.193%
PRICE TO INVESTOR96.693%
(MIN)
PRICE TO INVESTOR99.193%
(MAX
SALES CREDIT (MIN)0.500%
SALES CREDIT (MAX)3.000%
TESTS TO SEE IF MATCH IS POSSIBLE:
Is Syndicate Bond Coupon equal or greater than minimum?YES.
Is Syndicate Bond Yield equal or greater than minimum?YES.
Is Syndicate Bond Price to Investor equal or less than maximum?YES.
IF MATCH IS POSSIBLE, MATCH PRICE CAN BE
DETERMINED AS THE MINIMUM OF:
SYNDICATE MAX PRICE:99.193%
MAX PRICE:100.000%
MATCH PRICE:98.074%
Additional Markup from Syndicate Price to Issuer:1.881%

After the system compares the inquiry database data with the syndicate inputs data, and identifies all matches between the syndicate inputs and the profiles, the system may generate an electronic notice from the municipal syndicate desk pricing the issue to the broker. An example electronic order solicitation is illustrated in FIG. 6. Based upon this electronic order solicitation, a buyer may complete the order. It is also envisioned that a buyer may directly place an order based upon the matches. The buyer may be a user, a broker, a sales assistant, a customer, a retail salesperson, an institutional salesperson, an investor, a retail investor, an institutional investor, etc.

The present invention is also directed to an apparatus for implementing a communication and order matching method for fixed income securities, including: means for building and maintaining an inquiry database; means for building and maintaining a syndicate inputs database; means for comparing the inquiry database with the syndicate inputs database; and means for identifying matches between the data in the inquiry database and the syndicate inputs database.

In an alternative embodiment, the method may also include a compliance assessment. This may be achieved by the steps of: (a) receiving inputs from at least one broker dealer; (b) comparing the retail inquiry database and syndicate inputs database matches to the broker dealer inputs; and (c) assessing compliance of the order solicitation generations by the results of the comparison. These inputs may contain information as follows in Table 8:

TABLE 8
Broker Dealer Inputs
FieldCharacter
NumberFields for Syndicate ManagerField TypeLength
BD1Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 01Percent8
BD2Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 02Percent8
BD3Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 03Percent8
BD4Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 04Percent8
BD5Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 05Percent8
BD6Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 06Percent8
BD7Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 07Percent8
BD8Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 08Percent8
BD9Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 09Percent8
BD10Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 10Percent8
BD14Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 14Percent8
BD15Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 15Percent8
BD16Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 16Percent8
BD17Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 17Percent8
BD18Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 18Percent8
BD19Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 19Percent8
BD20Maximum Sales Credit - Serial 20Percent8
BD21Maximum Sales Credit - Term 01Percent8
BD22Maximum Sales Credit - Term 02Percent8
BD23Maximum Sales Credit - Term 03Percent8
BD24Maximum Sales Credit - Term 04Percent8
BD25Maximum Sales Credit - Term 05Percent8
BD26Maximum Sales Credit - Term 06Percent8
BD27Maximum Sales Credit - Term 07Percent8
BD28Maximum Sales Credit - Term 08Percent8
BD29Maximum Sales Credit - Term 09Percent8
BD30Maximum Sales Credit - Term 10Percent8
BD31Suitability RatingNumeric2

This is the information to be entered by the brokerage firm. Each firm will have a maximum commission schedule as shown in Fields BD1 through BD30. Field BD31 will be a minimum suitability rating. Any electronic order solicitation that is generated by the system with a lower suitability rating than BD31 must be approved by a manager before going to the broker.

The present invention is a unique process and system that beneficially changes the business practices within the fixed income securities market, specifically, but not exclusively, the municipal bond market. By making the primary market for municipal bonds more efficient, the present invention will increase the underwriter's revenues from the primary market, decrease the issuer's borrowing costs and allow retail investors to earn higher yields.

This invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments. Obvious modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. It is intended that the invention be construed as including all such modifications and alterations.