Top Banks Invest $66m in Financial Services Communication Platform
Symphony Communication Services Holdings LLC, a secure communication and workflow technology company, announced its formation through a $66 million investment from a group of the world’s leading financial institutions. As part of its formation, Symphony has acquired Perzo and will combine the company’s secure communication technology with Goldman Sachs’ proprietary enterprise collaboration platform to create a purpose-built, robust solution for the financial services industry.
In a statement, Symphony said it seeks to solve an industry-wide communication challenge by providing a platform for communities of financial services professionals to communicate securely and efficiently using compliant standards and end-to-end encryption.
BofA Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, BlackRock, Citadel, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, JPMorgan, Maverick, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and Wells Fargo were among the banks who partnered to establish this new communication ecosystem. Symphony expects many of these firms to be early adopters of the platform.
“Symphony responds to a pressing need across the industry for better methods of communication and collaboration,” says Darren Cohen, managing director and global co-head of principal strategic investments at Goldman Sachs. “We are pleased by the support from many of the world’s most prominent financial firms, which speaks to the strong desire for a more open, secure, compliant and efficient communication platform.”
Symphony embraces an open-source and open architecture philosophy that will allow for both integration of its components to third-party applications and interoperability with other networks. The core source code of the platform has been contributed to an open-source foundation. In 2015, the foundation will allow certain key components of the platform’s software to be freely used, changed and shared by anyone via the use of an open-source licensing model.
David Gurle has been appointed chief executive officer of Symphony. A veteran in financial services and unified communication, Gurle founded Perzo Inc. in 2012 with the mission of empowering end-users to own their content while also making communication more collaborative, efficient and secure.
“At the heart of Symphony is the goal of connecting communities by making communication simpler, yet richer,” says Gurle. “With the launch of Symphony, we are positioned to allow the industry to meet all of its regulatory obligations while constructing a platform for the exchange of information which is critical to the success of their business.”