Goldman Sachs to Debut New Social Networking Service

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on 3 Mar, 2015

Kevin Dugan

Call it Goldman Apps.

A Goldman Sachs-backed messaging and social networking service is planning to roll out broadly to Wall Street by July, complete with its own app store for add-ons, The Post has learned.

The service, called Symphony, will allow workers across Wall Street to communicate with one another, and incorporates instant messaging, chat forums, Twitter and internal feeds.

While most of the chat rooms are focused on financial topics like Bitcoin or interest rates, there’s at least one devoted to soccer.

A consortium of 15 banks invested $66 million in Symphony — a standalone company and not a part of Goldman. The new service is widely seen as a way to reduce the banks’ reliance on Bloomberg’s expensive messaging and data terminals, which cost $24,000 per year apiece.

Symphony has more than 19,000 users at Goldman alone — about two-thirds of the company’s workforce, said spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin.

Symphony’s other bank backers are also using the service, along with a few outside clients that are testing it, according to Mike Elanjian, a vice president in securities.

The program was the main focus of a weekend “hackathon” event at the bank behemoth’s lower Manhattan headquarters, where about 90 college students wrote code for programs used for everything from trading to company operations.

Symphony has attracted interest from banks in part because it allows internal compliance officers to police any talk among traders that could end up in embarrassing court documents, among other reasons, according to Wall Street insiders.

“If you say the wrong thing in financial services, you can commit a crime,” Paul Walker, global co-head of Goldman’s technology division, told the students.

New York Post

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