“Unprecedented” consortium of financial firms invests $66m in ex-Skype VP’s new venture

New workflow and communications platform Symphony Communication Services celebrated its official formation yesterday after securing investment from financial firms including BofA Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, BlackRock, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

Many of the firms involved are expected to be early adopters of the new platform.

The $66m invested covers the cost of buying out Perzo, a technology company, on which the Symphony system will be based. Perzo’s founder David Gurle, who will now become CEO of Symphony, began his career at Microsoft and Thomson Reuters before later becoming the Vice-President of Skype Enterprise and Skype for Business.

Symphony describes its aim as “providing a platform for communities of financial services professionals to communicate securely and efficiently using compliant standards and end-to-end encryption.” It does this through an open-source, open architecture approach that, says the company, will allow it to integrate with third party applications and networks.

Symphony responds to a pressing need across the industry for better methods of communication and collaboration,” says Darren Cohen, Managing Director and Global Co-Head of Principal Strategic Investments at Goldman Sachs. “We are pleased by the support from many of the world’s most prominent financial firms, which speaks to the strong desire for a more open, secure, compliant and efficient communication platform.”

At the heart of Symphony is the goal of connecting communities by making communication simpler, yet richer,” added Gurle. “With the launch of Symphony, we are positioned to allow the industry to meet all of its regulatory obligations while constructing a platform for the exchange of information which is critical to the success of their business.”