High-yield bond issuance: 5 traits lawyers should look for in a service provider

May 12, 2022

Deals close when the market is just right. And when you need to move fast, you want partners who can keep pace. Here are five qualities to seek out in a service provider that show they’re equipped to turn documents around quickly and seamlessly at a moment’s notice.

 

Successfully issuing a high-yield bond requires the perfect balance of timing, speed, teamwork and finesse. Throughout the process, the issuer and their legal counsel are heavily dependent on their service provider and other counterparties. They need them to meet tight turnaround deadlines and perform their roles proficiently without adding obstacles or delays.

If you’re a law firm seeking this type of streamlined partnership, you’ll want to find a provider with the five qualities discussed below. A firm that exhibits these traits will tighten your confidence in their ability to support your transaction in a way that’s urgent, reliable and efficient.

 

1.      They prioritize quick document turnaround.

The high-yield market is an important funding source for European corporations. The ability to access the market quickly requires a trustee and agency partner who can rally their resources to meet tight deadlines within narrow windows of opportunity. Look for a partner who stays on top of industry sector developments and attunes their service offerings to provide organized, on-time, transparent documentation that’s continuously managed throughout the process.

“The clock doesn’t stop in high yield,” says Rosie Brooke-Taylor, vice president of business development at U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust. “For us, that means staying aware of the geopolitical climate and other factors, like who else might be bringing similar products to market. It also means keeping in close contact with the lawyers and having all our preparation and know-your-customer (KYC) groundwork in place – so when the starting gate opens, we’re ready to run.”

“When the starting gate opens, we’re ready to run.”

2.      They understand exactly what the issuer is trying to accomplish.

Another characteristic of a strong partner is that they understand their role as a facilitator and don’t lose sight of the end goal or get bogged down in trivialities. You want a partner who smoothly and efficiently moves the process forward without creating needless friction.

“Your document reviewers should have the expertise and awareness to know when – and just as importantly, when not – to make changes to documents,” said Josh Theodore, vice president of business development for U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust. “You want revisions to be pertinent and necessary, otherwise you’re just adding speed bumps that slow the whole process down.”

 

3.      They exercise discernment and preempt complications.

Much of a service provider’s efficiency centres on how they approach the document review process. Do they come with a fixed mindset and insist on adding comments and clauses and layers of red tape? Or do they have enough experience and flexibility to consider the context and history of the relationship and do everything in their power keep changes minimal and absolutely necessary?

“Adaptability goes a long way toward being a valuable partner,” says Josh. “If an issuer recently brought a deal to market, and now they’re bringing another one, they don’t want to see those documents change. You don’t need to add clauses or be hyper-rigid for the sake of ticking the boxes. You need to evaluate the precedents and the context and make decisions accordingly.”

 

4.      They demonstrate experience and expertise through intuitive, proactive relationship management.

Not all service providers have the same levels of knowledge and specialization when it comes to high-yield transactions. You’re best served when you can find a partner with a specialized team of highly focused professionals who’ve done these deals before, who know what to look for, and who know exactly when and when not to raise concerns.

You want an assertive, proactive relationship management team that keeps things moving, stays focused on the finish line and interacts seamlessly and intuitively with all parties.

 

5.      They’re able to handle all your requirements under one roof.

If you find partners who possess all the qualities mentioned above, you’re doing well. But if you can find a single provider who offers everything you need in a one-stop shop solution, you’ve positioned yourself for an even more streamlined and efficient deal-closing process.

“The best setup is when you’ve got one person connecting all the dots for your high-yield bond issuance,” says Rosie. “Otherwise, dealing with an extra institution just adds another layer of complexity you really don’t want.”

“The best setup is when you’ve got one person connecting all the dots for your high-yield bond issuance.”

To ease the burden of managing several parties in a single transaction, consider a single partner that can fill multiples roles, including:

  • Indenture trustee
  • Security trustee
  • Paying agent (including U.S. paying agent)
  • Escrow agent
  • Calculation agent
  • Common depository

 

At U.S. Bank, we have the experience, reach and technology to navigate the mechanics of complex deals with transparency, consistency and unwavering quality. As new opportunities emerge in the European high-yield landscape, we can help you understand some of the new legal and structural hurdles in this fast-paced market.

For more information about our European trustee solutions, visit our website or contact Rosie Brooke-Taylor at rosie.brooketaylor@usbank.com.

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U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust is a trading name of U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust Limited, U.S. Bank Trustees Limited and Elavon Financial Services DAC (each a U.S. Bancorp group company). U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales having the registration number 05521133 and a registered address of 125 Old Broad Street, Fifth Floor, London, EC2N 1AR. U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust Limited, Dublin Branch is registered in Ireland with the Companies Registration Office under Reg. No. 909340 with its registered office at Block F1, Cherrywood Business Park, Cherrywood, Dublin 18, Ireland D18 W2X7. U.S. Bank Trustees Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales having the registration number 02379632 and a registered address of 125 Old Broad Street, Fifth Floor, London, EC2N 1AR. Elavon Financial Services DAC  (a U.S. Bancorp Company), trading as U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust, is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.  Registered in Ireland with the Companies Registration Office, Reg. No. 418442. The liability of the member is limited. Registered Office: Block F1, Cherrywood Business Park, Cherrywood, Dublin 18, Ireland D18 W2X7. Directors: A list of names and personal details of every director of the company is available for inspection to the public at the company’s registered office for a nominal fee. In the UK, Elavon Financial Services DAC trades as U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust through its UK Branch from its establishment at 125 Old Broad Street, Fifth Floor, London, EC2N 1AR (registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales under Registration No. BR020005). Authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and with deemed variation of permission. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

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