This week, Nasdaq announced the launch of Nasdaq Primary, helping companies digitize the process of raising debt capital by bringing all market actors together on one platform. The product launched in partnership with Onbrane, a European fintech company focused on producing sustainable and innovative solutions for the debt market leveraging web-based technology. Nasdaq sat down with Pascal Lauffer, the CEO and Co-founder of Onbrane, to discuss the benefits of Onbrane and Nasdaq Primary for the debt capital market.
Tell us about the history and vision for your company
Onbrane’s raison d’etre is to help build a better, more sustainable primary debt market.
The primary debt market is critical to the financing of private, public and financial organizations and is therefore critical for the function of the global economy. Yet, the primary debt market is lagging in terms of digitalization and innovation. The current industry processes are often dated, manual and inconsistent. This results not only in inefficiencies for all the market actors but also in unnecessary operational risk, a lack of transparency and an inability to leverage today’s connected world.
Additionally, I believe that the finance industry must not only do its part but show leadership in building a more sustainable planet. It is time to take climate change seriously. We need to act now! We need to do more to accelerate the Environment Social Governance (ESG) movement! To do so, we need more company leaders that make ESG a priority, but we also need a primary debt market infrastructure that better aligns fund allocation with sustainability imperatives.
At Onbrane, we are on a mission to create a more efficient primary debt market, while better aligning fund allocation with the important goal of building a more sustainable economy. Our vision is to see Onbrane become the technological fabric that enables this transformation.
What sets you apart from other efforts that are also trying to modernize the debt market?
We are certainly not the only company trying to modernize the debt market. What set us apart, in addition to our strong commitment to our mission, is the inclusive way we work with the market, the pragmatic way we bring innovation and our combined passion for technology and beautiful design.
First, Onbrane has been built for and with all the primary debt market actors. Our intention is to become the platform where they all meet to do business together, to become the tool to digitalize their processes and to become the place where industry standards emerge. This way, each actor can focus on getting the job done rather than dealing with today’s excessive complexity. We are continuously working closely with our community to make Onbrane the solution that best fits their evolving needs.
Second, Onbrane has the constraints of the finance industry in mind. Onbrane is easy to onboard, easy to integrate into complex IT systems and easy to enable full front to back STP. We also over invest in security and quality control so our users and their IT department do not have to worry.
Third, we combine technology, design and art with the ambition of offering the best user experience in finance. Onbrane is not only a powerful and easy to use platform, it is also beautiful to look at. Every icon, every button and every screen is custom designed by graphic artists. This clearly sets Onbrane apart from other platforms.
In more detail, what does the platform do and why is it unique?
In a nutshell, Onbrane allows treasurers looking to finance their activities, a platform to handle all their pre-issuance activities (ESG Framework, documentation management, product offering), all in one place. Onbrane then allows them to contact their intermediaries in order to negotiate terms and to issue the resulting debt product.
For intermediaries, Onbrane allows them to work with issuers and advise them on how to structure successful debt issuances while working with investors to ensure market fit and efficient debt product distribution.
As for investors, Onbrane informs them of upcoming debt issuances, connects them with debt issuance processes, which better positions them to choose the right investment opportunities for them.
What make Onbrane unique, is the platform’s ability to bring together all the actors of the primary debt market and to cater to each of their specific needs. Additionally, because Onbrane is ESG native, Onbrane is already able to integrate all of its ESG capabilities into the classic debt issuance process.
What made you seek a partnership with Nasdaq?
We couldn’t think of a better partner than Nasdaq. In addition to sharing the same passion for technology, Nasdaq and Onbrane share the same ambition and inclusive approach to bringing innovative technology to the debt market. Nasdaq has also clearly demonstrated its commitment to ESG with the creation of the Sustainable Bond Network.
Nasdaq and Onbrane also believe that an efficient primary debt market needs to be closely connected to the secondary market. The synergy between Onbrane’s mission to help build a better, more sustainable primary debt market, and Nasdaq’s secondary market capabilities, will bring more liquidity to Onbrane and will result in a more efficient market altogether.
Finally, Onbrane clients are large global organizations that have access to global markets. Therefore, Onbrane needs to enhance its global presence to be where our clients need us to be. Nasdaq’s partnership will help us do that.
Who benefits from Nasdaq Primary and in what way?
Nasdaq Primary is Onbrane taken to the next level. It combines Onbrane´s powerful capabilities with Nasdaq´s global footprint and extensive experience in building efficient market infrastructure.
Nasdaq Primary can bring value to existing customers of both Onbrane and Nasdaq regardless of their role on the platform. Rapidly, issuers will have access to more liquidity and more markets. Intermediaries will have more issuers and investors to work with, and investors will have more investment opportunities. Overtime, our clients will benefit for more products and more integration with Nasdaq services.
Finally, if someone is interested in getting in touch to find out more about Nasdaq Primary – who should they contact?