Bloomberg News: Old-School Leveraged Loan Market Is a Step Closer to Ditching Faxes

The $1.38 trillion U.S. leveraged loan market is nearing an innovation that could finally shift back-office operations to a centralized system and away from investors having to manually track their positions — a process that can still include the occasional fax.

Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday unveiled the name of the new platform that will let lenders access data across their portfolios in one place and said that Credit Suisse Group AG, one of the top arrangers for leveraged loans, has joined the portal.

Called Versana, the platform will formally launch around the middle of this year with term loans, and then soon add revolving credit facilities and other services, said the company’s Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Sachs.

“It’s going to provide a level of transparency that the market has never seen before,” Sachs said in an interview.

The leveraged loan market is a key source of funding for private equity firms loading up companies with debt for leveraged buyout deals. Versana comes at a time of immense growth in the asset class even as the market has resisted some major technological advancements. The market is bigger than ever, according to Leveraged Commentary & Data based on the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index.

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