Legendary investor George Soros is backing TruMid, a hot new bond trading startup.
The billionaire’s Soros Fund Management has invested in the company, according to people familiar with the matter. It isn’t clear how much Soros is investing.
The investment represents a coup for the firm, which was set up late last year and officially launched on April 29 as an electronic trading marketplace for corporate bonds.
Michael Vachon, an advisor to the chairman at Soros Fund Management, and TruMid chief marketing officer Tim Reed both declined to comment on the investment.
TruMid is one of several firms that are trying to take advantage of increased interest in electronic bond trading at a time when many are complaining about reduced liquidity.
Bloomberg reported in March that the firm had raised money at a valuation of $US75 million.
TruMid started out trading high-yield and distressed bonds, and added investment-grade bonds to its platform earlier this month. It plans to launch credit default swap trading in the fourth quarter.
Trading is focused on 10-minute periods called swarms, with the idea being that having small windows of trading focuses liquidity in specific periods of time.
The firm was set up by Ronnie Mateo, who previously worked at inter-dealer broker Trinity Brokers, and has added a number of well-known Wall Street traders to its ranks since its formation.
They include Mike Sobel, a former head of high yield bond trading at Lehman Brothers and Barclays, and Mike Martinic, who previously ran quantitative and fundamental credit trading for Citadel Asset Management.
It also has a number of Goldman Sachs alumni on staff, including Josh Hershman, Chris Ruggiero, Matt McBride, Justine Robertson, Kelly Maier, Josh Rubinson and Ravi Singh.
While Reed at TruMid declined to comment on an investment, he did shed some light on TruMid’s development since launch.
The platform has 182 clients signed up and onboarded to the platform, he said, made up of 24 dealers, 116 hedge funds and 42 so-called ‘real money’ investors. The platform has another 370 accounts in the process of being onboarded.
The platform has traded over $US2 billion of high yield and distressed bonds since launch, he added.
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