BlackRock Becomes Latest Venue to Test Symphony

Blackrock has begun testing the financial messaging app Symphony.

BlackRock has become the latest venue to undergo testing of the financial messaging app Symphony, a cloud-based, communication and content sharing platform that aims to overcome internal barriers of regulatory compliance and cost.

Symphony’s messenger system is already being tested by several groups, and has pegged itself as a competitor of existing messaging systems such as Bloomberg messaging and Thomson Reuters’ Eikon Messenger.

Symphony presently boasts a strong client list of upwards of 60 banks and other financial institutions, with estimated revenues of $18 million by year-end, fueled in part by myriad customer trials.

The announcement by Symphony is the second in as many days, following the testing phase with trading-centric voice software provider Green Key Technologies, which partnered with the group to test a new voice quote tool ahead of a Q2 2016 rollout.

For BlackRock’s part, the global asset manager is one of 18 financial institutions that have already invested $170 million in Symphony, which has seen its usage swell recently. According to Symphony’s Chief Executive David Gurle in a recent statement to Reuters, the company’s messaging app presently boasts around 75,000 users and is targeting a number of 130,000-150,000 by the end of this year with upwards of 300,000 by 2018. Bloomberg’s messaging service and Thomson Reuters’ Eikon Messenger see around 327,000 and 270,000 users respectively.

The decision to use Symphony’s messaging app is important for Blackrock as it will help address concerns over security and costs of monitoring staff online. “I can confirm that we are piloting the service with a sub-set of our workforce, and are looking to roll it out more widely in the coming months,” said a spokesman for BlackRock in a recent statement.

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