Markit acquires Communicator; strengthens service capabilities

Markit has acquired Communicator Inc, the provider of a range of automated solutions for the processing of OTC derivatives trades.

The transaction is intended to provide Markit clients with enhanced trading and risk management capabilities across all products and asset classes. Lance Uggla, CEO of Markit said: 'We are bringing together complementary services which reduce risk and improve efficiency. By joining forces with Communicator, we can provide our clients more effectively with a wealth of aggregated information and pricing. The companies' combined services will allow us to offer clients the highest quality data coupled with leading technology, all on a single platform.'

Markit is a leading source of data and valuations in the credit, equity, OTC derivative and structured finance markets. Markit owns the benchmark Reference Entity Database (RED) used in the credit derivatives market. The company also offers a bespoke Portfolio Valuations service spanning all OTC derivatives products that meets investor requirements for best practice in independent valuations.

Founded in 1999, Communicator provides buy and sell-side financial firms with real-time communications, automated solutions for OTC derivatives trade processing, compliance and counterparty management. The company also provides identity management and information hub technology which drives Bond.Hub, the most successful bond research platform in the financial industry. The company is based in White Plains, New York. Leo Schlinkert, President and CEO of Communicator, who will join Markit's executive team, noted: 'The challenges that lie ahead in the shape of rising transaction volumes in the OTC derivatives markets will continue to test the industry's operational processes, and attract regulatory concern. The combination of Markit's pricing and valuation services with Communicator's OTC derivatives post-trade platform meets these challenges by offering an endto- end service including trade confirmation, pricing, valuation and trade lifecycle events which will provide a significant benefit to the marketplace.'

The deal has been favorably viewed by some joint clients of both firms. Bradford S. Levy, Managing Director, Firmwide eBusiness Group at Goldman Sachs stated: "As a major user of both Markit's and Communicator's services, we are very excited about Communicator becoming a part of the Markit Group. Markit's performance has been very impressive, and both companies' products are well entrenched with the sell-side and buy-side communities. This transaction will further fuel the company's growth, and will allow Markit to expand its product set rapidly."

Jon Anderson, Head of Operations at BlueMountain Capital, a leading hedge-fund and client of both firms, said: "We view this as a combination of excellence with excellence which will advance the financial markets through automation, data and transparency. We look forward to working with the combined team who will undoubtedly ensure the company continues to be a global force in the industry.'

Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC (FT Partners) acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisors to Communicator in the transaction.

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