Stanley Ross was a London-based trader who revolutionized the Eurobond system. He died on July 23, 2014 at the age of 83.
In the late 1970s, he helped to break a monopoly underwriters had on the pricing of new bonds by disseminating two-way prices before a note was formally sold. In doing this, he undermined the economics of the business and made enemies of new-issue managers, whose profits depended on their ability to hide their bonds’ actual performance. However, investors benefited from increased transparency in the market.
Ross defeated an attempt by the Association of International Bond Dealers, the trade group he co-founded in 1969, that would have put him out of business by outlawing so-called gray-market trading. The organization is now called the International Capital Market Association and is based in Zurich and London.
Ross grew up in London, the son of a London bus conductor. He left school at 15 and later became the first non-German-born managing director of Deutsche Bank AG.
Ross started as an equities trader at the brokerage Strauss Turnbull & Co. in 1950. In 1963 he was asked to make a market in the newly issued Autostrade SpA notes, the first Eurobonds (international securities with untaxed coupons). Both the new debt market and Ross's business took off, and the business had become bigger than the equities side when Ross left the firm in 1967 to set up the Eurobonds business at Kidder, Peabody & Co. The Autostrade SpA Eurobond was the genesis of today’s $4 trillion-a-year market.
According to a Bloomberg story, Ross said he got his start in bond trading when Julius Strauss noticed a novel by Marcel Proust lying on Ross's desk at Strauss Turnbull & Co. Strauss was so impressed he took him out of the back office and onto the trading floor, where he bought and sold equities for more than 10 years before he turned to debt.
- Stanley Ross, Bond Trader Who Changed Pricing, Dies at 83. Bloomberg.
- Stanley Ross Eluded Nazi Bombs to Transform World Bond Markets. Bloomberg.