Symphony acquires technology assets of Markit chat unit

Symphony acquires technology assets of Markit chat unit

Reference data firm Markit has backed out of the running to develop a rival to Bloomberg's instant messaging network, instead selling the technology assets of its Collaboration unit to back-backed Symphony Communication Services.

Symphony was launched as a competitor to Bloomberg's Instant chat service by 14 Wall Street firms in early October. The firms stumped up $66 million for Symphony Communication Services Holdings, which rolled in Perzo and technology that Goldman had been working on over the last couple of years.

The new acquisition - which will provide a secure directory for managing contacts across the financial services industry - represents the company’s first major transaction since its founding. It also represents an exit by Markit, which developed the technology to make its own foray into the instant messaging arena in collaboration with Thomson Reuters and a group of major banks.

Brad Levy, managing director and head of Markit’s Processing business says: “We achieved several firsts in the financial services industry with Collaboration Services. Symphony will help realise our vision that open networks will fundamentally change how people work and communicate in our industry, by combining our respective collaboration assets.”

Symphony says it will populate the directory with vetted contacts from firms and users validated by network participants, allowing for improved identity management and making it simple to locate and contact professionals within the financial services industry.

David Gurle, chief executive officer of Symphony, says: “The integration of these two highly complementary services sets us apart from other enterprise collaboration and messaging platforms by providing secure, seamless communication that connects users with their community.”

He says Symphony will use the technology to also create secure and compliant directories and communities for communication across a wide range of industries.

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