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Goldman Sachs seeks investment in trader chat service

Aims to replace costly Bloomberg messaging tools

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Goldman Sachs has called on rival banks to invest up to $6 million (£3.6m) in developing an alternative chat service to Bloomberg's instant messaging platform.

The service, dubbed Symphony, will combine elements of Goldman's own in-house messaging system and software developed by start-up Perzo - founded by former Thomson Reuters executive David Gurle.

Banks asked to invest between $5-6m each in the chat tool include JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, HSBC and Bank of America,according to the FT.

Goldman Sachs' new platform, expected to launch in the second quarter of 2015, is designed to be cheaper than Bloomberg's messaging tool, which many banks currently access via the chat function in its $20,000-a-year terminals.

Last year, Goldman Sachs accused Bloomberg of accessing private data on its terminals to gather information on bankers. The alleged incident, combined with the high cost of its terminal subscription, is believed to have led banks to seek alternative messaging services.

Symphony is not the only service putting pressure on Bloomberg. A number of investment banks including Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have indicated they will use the Collaboration Services tool developed by Markit.

The London-based firm recently listed on Nasdaq, and announced an 11 percent second quarter revenue increase in its first public financial statement yesterday.

The use of chat rooms has come under scrutiny from regulators in the past year, with banks tightening controls after some traders used messaging services to discuss illegal activity such as rate-rigging.


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