Intercontinental Exchange has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Global Research division’s index platform from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The BofAML indices are the second most used fixed income indices by assets under management (AUM) globally, and upon closing, the AUM benchmarked against the combined fixed income index business of ICE will be nearly $1 trillion. Upon closing, the indices will be re-branded as the ICE BofAML indices. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2017. The financial impact of the transaction is expected to be immaterial in 2017.
The BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research index platform encompasses more than 5,000 fixed income, currency and commodity (FICC) indices that are relied upon by thousands of investors and market participants around the world. Through ICE Data Services, ICE is positioned to enhance and grow the platform to meet customers’ needs across index management, analytics and valuations.
Following the close of the transaction, the BofAML Global Research FICC indices will become part of ICE Data Services, a global leader in proprietary market data, analytics, desktops and connectivity solutions. The ICE BofAML indices will be powered by ICE’s award-winning evaluated prices and reference data, which provide high-quality information on more than 10 million financial instruments across all major asset classes, including futures, options, equities and fixed income.
“We are excited to build on ICE’s index services, which complement our leading fixed income pricing solutions in serving the demand for indexation as passive investing grows,” said Lynn Martin, President & COO of ICE Data Services. “We believe the BofAML Global Research FICC indices will offer customers more choice alongside the ICE U.S. Treasury indices and NYSE equity indices as comprehensive, trusted benchmarks. We look forward to working with our investment management customers to address their requirements for new tools to grow their AUM efficiently.”
“As the demand for independent indices rises, we are pleased to monetise this valuable set of benchmarks with a strategic owner,” said Candace Browning, head of Global Research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “We look forward to working with ICE to continue to provide clients with superior solutions and service.”