Collaborating securely with Symphony

Nurdianah Md Nur

Given the diverse communications channels used by traders and investment managers today, it can be challenging to get the right information at the right time.

To help financial institutions overcome this challenge, Symphony Communication Services (Symphony) is offering a messaging platform that allows financial institutions to consolidate all their digital communications onto a single platform.

"Communication is the nervous system of businesses today as it enables the exchange of ideas, and moves an agenda forward," said David Gurle, founder and CEO of Symphony. "However, there are too many communication channels used in the workplace today, so we're offering a solution that allows only one stream of communication that users could rely on to exchange critical information."

With Symphony's platform, users could chat individually or in groups, as well as share relevant information from selected content providers. Currently, Symphony's customers will be provided with news from Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, as well as relevant news and research from contextual recommendation engine Selerity Context. In addition, users will be able to access key company financials, estimates, ratios and ownership of listed companies in S&P Capital IQ's database.

"Content is critical to workflow productivity. By furthering our partner ecosystem with Dow Jones, McGraw Hill Financial and Selerity, we are making it easy for our customers to access and share the information they need, thus facilitating fast decision making," said Gurle.

Since Symphony is targeted at financial firms, its messaging platform needs to be secure, and comply with regulations. To do so, the platform allows customers to "hold and generate their own encryption keys to protect their data from cyber threats", said Gurle. He added that the platform is built with features to support content export, expression filtering, informationa barrier enforcement and legal disclaimers to meet the regulatory and compliance obligations.

Touted to be a rival to Bloomberg's messaging service, Symphony has been receiving encouraging support from financial institutions. Earlier this month, the company announced that it has raised US$100 million from Swiss bank UBS, French banks Natixis and Societe Generale, venture capital firms Lakestar and Mercus Capital, and tech giant Google. Symphony said that the new capital will be used to address demand and accelerate the expansion of its global expansion.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new funding increased Symphony's value to US$650 million. Prior this new round of investment, Symphony is backed by the Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Citadel, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Jefferies, Maverick, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, UBS and Wells Fargo.