Other members of the group include Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). They aim to create a service that will enable “financial services professionals to communicate securely and efficiently using compliant standards and end-to-end encryption.”
In order to realize this aim the group have announced that they are paying $66 million to buy Symphony Communication Services Holdings LLC., a new secure communication and workflow-technology company. Symphony itself has just acquired Perzo Inc, a 2012 startup which developed the messaging service.
Wall Street’s instant-messaging service: A rival system
Up until now many traders have used the messaging system provided by Bloomberg. However back in 2013 it was revealed that Bloomberg reporters could access certain information about users. Goldman Sachs has obviously not forgotten the controversy, although they had been looking into developing their own messenger system before the story broke.
“Symphony responds to a pressing need across the industry for better methods of communication and collaboration,” said Darren Cohen, global co-head of principal strategic investments at Goldman Sachs.
“Goldman is probably simply trying to take its destiny in its own hands,” claimed Stephane Dubois, CEO at Xignite and market data expert. “Without an impulse from the large players, the forces of the market have not been sufficient to topple the Bloomberg monopoly. They are doing what they can to change that.”
Wall Street’s instant-messaging service: The new kid on the block
Many banks are ready to switch to a new system because Bloomberg are charging $20,000-a-year for connectivity. Perzo, founded by Frenchman David Gurle, could be just what Wall Street needs.
Gurle will be retained as CEO of Symphony, and has a lot of relevant experience, having worked for Skype, Thomson Reuters and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Perzo’s system will keep messages sent between a smart phone and a desktop secure, which was a major concern for Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS). Another bonus is the possibility to customize the interface as they wish.