In finance, the term book runner or bookrunner denotes the service provider responsible for the initial issuance of a specific security and the recording of sales. The term is most widely used in relation to bonds.
An active book runner handles the issuing and selling of bonds and the maintenance and updating of order books on behalf of the issuing company. A passive book runner participates in the issuance of bonds, but does not actively sell or maintain order books for those bonds.
A book runner may be solely responsible for a new issue, or it may form part of a group of underwriters (a syndicate). When a new security is issued by a syndicate, the terms lead-left bookrunner and physical bookrunner are used to denote book runners which issue high-yield securities (junk bonds).
Book runners are typically banks or groups of banks which work with companies to issue and distribute corporate bonds. A bond may be issued without a book runner, in which case it is issued by a mandated lead arranger (MLA).
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