Symphony Blog

Building a FinTech Ecosystem: The Digital Journey of Collaboration and Workflow Efficiency

Katherine Kilpatrick

The Power of Community Customer Panel at Symphony Innovate 2017 brought together leaders from J.P. Morgan, AllianceBernstein, Kepler Cheuvreux and T. Rowe Price - all companies with enterprise-wide deployments of Symphony - to discuss how to build a frictionless environment for collaboration. Panelists shared their experiences of deploying the technology, increasing user adoption, creating bots, communicating with external clients, and the overall benefits of the platform.

Diane Brady (Moderator): Welcome everybody. I want to start with each of you and give us some sense, now that you’re all in with Symphony, how's that going?

Pete Spera (J.P. Morgan): We have about 60,000 people on the platform internally. We're communicating with about 65 clients. It’s taking off massively, I'm sure we'll get into it as we discuss it. But tons of bots, tons of APIs across the pre-trade, post-trade trade life cycle, and it's been fantastic.

Adam Salem (AllianceBernstein): We’ve been on Symphony for about 2 years now. Demand really started with our sell-side back in late 2015, shortly after that we realized there was a chance to be something much bigger and have a much bigger place in our enterprise. Over the course of 2016 we started to develop into a global product that everyone in the firm can use. Earlier this year we deployed it to everyone's desktop, phone, tablet, and we have largely made it our enterprise communication platform. We're still fighting the demons of Microsoft a little bit and trying to get it out, but largely it has taken over.

Patricia Shin (Kepler Cheuvreux): We had a bit of a slow start because everybody was so used to using Bloomberg. So one day we just decided to take all the group chats off Bloomberg, and the next day it was up on Symphony. People have to search “where's my news” and “where's my flows,” then it picked up very quickly. So it's pretty much all internal for the time being. We just have one client, we have a cross pod, and that's working very well. Like Matt had mentioned earlier, from T. Rowe, that clients have the tags, so they’re just cutting out all the noise and just taking what they want to take so becoming much more efficient.

Ryan Burks (T. Rowe Price): I was pretty proud of our roll out to 6,800 associates until I heard Pete say 60,000. What I will brag about is that our team sitting over there won the hackathon last night, so Pete I don’t think you can say that. They actually challenged me to wear a #champs shirt, but I didn’t think that’d go over too well. So we're about a year or so into the rollout at T. Rowe price and I would say we had a little bit of a slow start. We rolled it out to technology first. We want to eat our own cookie and make sure it was going to solve some of the problems we were trying to solve. Then eventually roll it out so we could get a proper training mechanism in place because our diverse workforce is pretty comfortable with technology, and then some folks aren't as much, so we want to make sure that before we pushed out to the entire organization we had what we refer to as “Symphony University.” We had folks in place that could get people trained up so that we really across the organization could take advantage of the power of the network of T. Rowe Price. As of about a month or two ago the entire organization is on Symphony.

D. Brady: It’s interesting you mention the demons of Microsoft, you mentioned Bloomberg. I want to get a sense to has this displaced anything? Is it additive? I'm going to go to Mr. 60,000. Is this something where you, from the top down, are like, “you shall use this and we never want to hear from you again on anything else” or how’s it being used internally relative to other options?

P. Spera: Yeah, I'm sure all our firms have their rationalizing similar overlapping tool sets. How we’re looking at it is the strategic angle that I think some of the other presenters earlier today looked at it. One aspect on the platform has been a senior community, that network effect, sharing on their wall what's happening, strategies of the businesses, of all that, where we should be focusing a large organization. That gets the message out and and gets eyeballs, and people are using it collaboratively. The second piece is really that enterprise interoperability workflow, just so many tools that allow you to inject intelligence, making people smarter and more productive throughout their day, whether you're in the development environment or whether you're facing off the clients, it's just really taken off. We can’t stop the ideas or opportunities coming in. so it’s been fantastic. But we do have to rationalize some of the tools and we’ll be facing some others in time. I think we did something similar with our group chats and we continue to evolve.

D. Brady: I think going from the internal to external is interesting in terms of how that’s going, but in terms of when you say “the demons of Microsoft” again, I want to get a sense of how people are embracing the tool and how you are developing it internally. What are your aspirations?

A. Salem: It’s been a bit of a mixed bag, we’ve been largely a Microsoft shop for a long time. We’re using their group chat, in their communicator for one-on-one conversations. Earlier this year we “ripped off the Band-Aid” with group chat so to speak. We took it out of almost everyone’s hands and that was actually a pretty easy conversion. I think the tools Symphony offers are just broadly and demonstrably even better, so people were happy that. We migrated them and that was pretty easy. The one-on-one communications with the communicator has been much harder. This a real network effect, so if you're on Symphony but you don't know if the other person's on Symphony, it's hard to trust that they're going to see it. Even though it's on everyone's desktop there is definitely a real tipping point that we haven't gotten to yet. Everyone has it on their desktop, but I would say only about 20% of actual one-on-one communication is there. I think there's a future where it's a 100% but we're a ways away.

D. Brady: Did anything you hear this morning actually make a difference in terms of the “tipping point” that you're looking for?

A. Salem: I think there’s a couple of different points. There’s definitely real value to be added outside the network, once you leave the walls of AllianceBernstein. I think people are starting to see that, but for someone whose day to day job is mostly just about communicating with people within AllianceBernstein it's hard to get them over that hump.

D. Brady: You come at this with a very different perspective with Kepler Cheuvreux’s role. Give me some sense, you mentioned Bloomberg, how it's displacing whatever other tools you've been using. Also just your aspirations who you want to be communicating with and within the Symphony universe.

P. Shin: … Because most clients still use Bloomberg,... we can’t get rid of it and can’t save money, although Symphony is cheap. I think the thing we did first was none of the analysts had Bloomberg, so for analysts, it was difficult when news hit. There were 30, 40, 50 sales people calling, sales traders, everybody's calling, and you can only talk to one person. I think having all the analysts on there and posting the research on Symphony, everybody grasps that because they can get the answer, ask questions quickly, and get a response quickly, and so they look smarter in front of clients. So that was pretty good. What I heard today about all the various networks and platforms, and what we can becomes sort of a bigger platform, and having Symphony, you can look at FactSet Charts, you can get Reuters news, and we set alerts and can cut out the noise and just get what we want to work. I think that's great. As [Adam] has mentioned if it’s just a chatting thing it is not very interesting. But if you get a lot more out of it, that’s much better.

D. Brady: Ryan what are you getting out of it so far?

R. Burks: So far a couple points I’d like to echo. Something that we did that was a little bit different at T. Rowe, and it's easy to jump to the rationalization story. So about a year and a half ago we went through a refreshed technology strategy where we were looking at rationalization across the entire organization, and that’s not a compelling “why” for the 6,800 associates at the firm. It’s just another communication platform. They’re looking at us like “how does this really make us better as an organization?” So the “why” that we started with is that we’ve got associates across the board for our digital transformation on how we interact with clients, all the way through our investments process, into back-office operations and technology. We started to paint a picture that when you’ve got bifurcated, self-imposed walls within your organization from different communication platforms, you’re hiring really smart people across the board, you’re trying to change the way you interact with clients, but you've got these self-imposed walls that are not allowing you to be the strongest organization that you can be. Instead of starting with the technology story of “why it's a better ‘it’ or ‘thing’,” we started with why we've got these things that are not allowing us to be the best we can be. It happened to coincide with a refreshed firm-wide strategy, so it was pretty easy for us to get people to rally around something that would unlock some of those doors. Some of the knowledge within the organization. Some of the things that we've gotten out of it so far: I would start with technology in the organization, and say like many folks in the room or on the panel, when we have a critical situation, typically it was a number of people trying to get in touch with a number of people to get them on a phone call to try to resolve this issue. It's very easy to @mention everybody that needs to be involved in solving this problem in and quickly gets resolution. So that's starting in the back office of technology, and then I would say is you keep moving toward the front end of interacting with a client. When you're dealing with a client, whether it's a retail client, or it's a project that touches the line or RPS client or a global distribution, getting the right people involved in solving that client’s problem and doing that in a much more timely manner is really compelling “why.” So bring it back full-circle, some of the things that we are getting is interacting more effectively with our clients, improving our research platform internally, and the way that we solve problems in technology. The “why” was the primary driver and moving away and eliminating some of these other technology platforms became easy at that point. The “why” was the primary driver, and moving away from other technology became easier.

D. Brady: It’s interesting you mentioned the strategic argument because internally a lot of people understand the internal benefits and seamless communication. I'm curious about the industry as a whole and how it becomes sort of the default platform. I said something to you in terms of the ambition and aspiration of what you can do with this now that you've got the most internal sort of usage. Where does it spread from here and what do you think are some of the ways in which perhaps --I hate to use the word “work together” because that's not something that we like to use in any sort of competitive situation -- but where are the areas where you think that there should be more collaboration as an industry?

P. Spera: I think Ryan hit it on the head about how we did our journey internally and now we look to advance it together, so I think those same conversations of how to make internal folks productive and get that research or get the information they need to be more productive on our same digital journey, we want that same collaboration with each other. We’re all clients of each other. We want to share that same information, whether it's a commentary, research, trade ideas, anything, and pre-trade, post-trade value, all throughout the lifecycle. We have people across our firms trying to communicate and if we can get them sharing information quicker, better, faster, that’s how we view the platform. We’re excited there’s folks in this room and other people in the industry, really adopting information at a pace that we’re adopting and investing in, and we hope others get there because I think our view is the digital power of collaboration could just expand exponentially.

D. Brady: Is the content important? Things like the media platform? Give me some sense, as to the way we see Symphony grow, and as the platform evolves, your wish list. What do you think is an important tipping point for you in terms of usage and ROI of this?

A. Salem: I think that the real benefit that we’re starting to see is mostly in the trading community. We’ve got counterparties in the buy-side and the sell-side; AB has both. Where we have these unstructured communications with them, whether that be on ROIs, or bidding things for OTC instruments, and it's a really poor communication method that we as an industry use now. It's phone calls, and emails, and text messages and things that are easy to misinterpret, or hard to audit, or just bad. I think we’ve been starting to see the community embrace a messaging opportunity where it’s just raw text they were sending back and forth, but we're starting to get a little bit more advanced. I see interest starting to develop in more structured data being passed over the Symphony platform, but you know that it's a secure, reliable, mobile platform that you can just reach out and it's totally auditable by our compliance team. That's a real benefit we’re already starting to see, and I think we’re going to see a lot more next year.

D. Brady: Do you think there could coexist multiple tools and try to get multiple tools in the industry? I want to get a sense from you because I feel like that’s one of the conversations a lot of people have is to what degree -- is 500,000 the important point or 1 million, where you really start to see that people want simplicity in the office. 

R. Burks: I’m nodding because what we’re facing in the industry is similar to what we faced with the firm of T. Rowe Price. You’ve got multiple communications and you're always going to have the same issues: Are you on Bloomberg or are you on Symphony? I don't mean to sound provocative but there's a lot of things that we compete on. Just like Pete said we're actually clients as well. We’re partners in a lot of ways. Things like back-office operations are not a competitive differentiator. Regulatory compliance, you could make the argument that maybe it is, like doing that well in a timely matter, but we all have an interest in a communication platform that can allow us to do that, and not worry about that and actually running the business that we're trying to run. I would answer the question that I don't think it's optimal have multiple platforms and I think in an ideal world there would be one that the buy and the sell side is on and and that's how we communicate.

D. Brady: We talk about innovation as if you’re all passive consumers and you’re innovators yourselves. Do you want to talk a little bit about some of the innovation opportunities and the way you're looking at this strategically?

A. Salem: One of the things that we’ve been focusing on AB on the buy-side, we would like to consider ourselves, and we’re very proud of our source straight through order building process. When we look at the power of Symphony we realized we’re actually not straight through. We started measuring at the wrong spot. Prior to recently, our order building process started with a Portfolio Manager. Imagine he's at a news conference at Apple's headquarters in California. He might hear about an exciting new product and he'll get on the phone and he’ll call an associate who starts the order building process or sends an email or text message, or write it down in a notebook and take a picture of it. I mean it's bad. And when we start the build-out is bots integrated into Symphony, where sitting right there in that conference you can say, “buy this much Apple” and that goes straight through our entire order-building process into the execution management platform. We're getting into that state where it redefines what is “straight through” -- I mean it’s straight through from the moment that the portfolio manager makes the decision, all the way through. And the mobility and secure platform that Symphony provides is a real enabler for that.

D. Brady: Any other innovation? J.P. Morgan, give me some sense of how strategically you're using this differently than you've used other platforms.

P. Spera: There’s a lot of ways similar to what you mentioned, Adam. We’re looking at the sales and trading life cycle and, just like you mention, the internal piece, we’re doing the same thing for our clients. So a client can just chat us that order to buy Apple and it'll execute right through our pipes. A client can come in and say, “I want to be able to understand what was written up on, say, Apple research.” They get research content and the whole client self-serves through that front part of the workflow. I think internally the same thing with BOTs and APIs. Where you can look for commentary, you can search for things across J.P. Morgan Markets for our content platform, you can get in touch with folks in the post-trade space and get the information you need on settlement information. So it's also a publishing channel. So, the old days of just sending an email to a group email box, we’re now pushing content to clients over Symphony as well.

D. Brady: What’s the natural progression within your firms? Is it J.P. Morgan +, J.P. Morgan Chase, is it more functionality? What will we be talking about at this time next year in terms of what you’re doing and who else is using it.

P. Spera: For us, we have it across the entire corporate and investment bank. Front to back, no matter what role you’re in here, so it's massive. We also have wealth management, asset management, some of the other brands and parts of the firm are exploring it so we could have one overall communication theme across the firm. Where I think, at least in the investment bank, is that collaboration with clients, and getting more and more of us connecting through the platform, realizing that today you might pick up that phone or chat, do you realize you're both on Symphony? You can have a better workflow of communication with your clients, not just internally. So I think that's the big push going into 2018. That’s why I’m so excited to see the room full and so many folks participating on the platform. 

D. Brady: It’s interesting. One of the things I think is fascinating is the growth trajectory, and even if we went back three years to when you first heard the announcement to where we are today, how has it been faster than you anticipated or slower? It’s hard to build out secure platforms. Give any thoughts on that in terms of where we are today to where it goes from here.

P. Shin: Well we started late and we have a much smaller group, roughly 400 on Symphony today. For us, it was very important to get out research. You can write the best research and if you can't deliver it to the clients correctly then it's useless. Symphony helped this push quite quickly into the FinTech world so we've created other systems quickly. When analysts write a piece of research it goes into Symphony, goes into a website. It goes everywhere very quickly. And then we created bots and systems where you can do the searching very quickly. Searching for stocks, searching for data, searching for what are the stocks with the highest yields in the utility sector, XYZ. What is it that is making things much easier for people to get that information through and out to the clients? So we're very much client-based and now we're looking for more video. Sort of like Skype video presentation to clients, one-on-one, or to a group of clients, and then sharing the graphics or the data. So we’re moving into that.

A. Salem: I would say I think things are moving a little faster than I would anticipate. I remember just a few short years ago I'm sitting with Sashi and a few other people and talking about the potential of Symphony within T. Rowe Price. I specifically remember leaving that room and thinking “seems like an intriguing prospect but probably not going to get a lot of traction at the firm.” In retrospect it probably was a bit naive, but I would say that things move rapidly to the point where we're not just talking about the sort of global rollout and using it for chat, but actually utilizing the bot concept for how we deal with clients. Ways that I wouldn’t have envisioned just a few short years ago are actually becoming reality within the firm. Things that we’re actually planning around. So I guess maybe I was naive on the front end but I'd say things are moving a little faster than I would have anticipated.

D. Brady: Let’s say I’m a potential client coming in. What advice would each of you give me that you would have done differently or that you think is going to be a key component of how you bring this in and use it.

P. Spera: Depends on where you're at if you’re really at the early life cycle where you're pitching it right; beginning certainly with the compliance: make sure you have the information barriers. There’s a lot of questions legal and compliance has especially when you’re dealing with the clients. Don’t underestimate some of those challenges. The second piece is probably the catalyst with Senior Management to say “we realize where this can go.” It's not just chat, it’s full collaboration and workflow efficiency. Once you get enough senior leaders, or at least one catalyst saying “I get the vision” what we’re talking about here today moves. For us that’s when it really moved. We had some of that clear backing and all the sudden strategies and people posting them following it; the network effect just made it made it enormous. Just don't underestimate some of those early steps about getting installed, understanding the cloud environment, how you communicate with clients; that takes a bit more time but we got through that and with the right senior management it just took off, and the ideas are coming out all over.

D. Brady: What about it as being a collaborative tool. Any examples you could cite that might give us some help visualizing it beyond messaging?

R. Burks: I was just speaking to one of our development managers this morning around the API for GitHub and collaboration between developers. I think that's been an interesting uptick for T. Rowe Price. It’s just an example we're talking about this morning. I see that starting to get traction across the technology organization in the coming months.

D. Brady: Any advice you have, Patricia, since you’re coming at this from a different perspective?

P. Shin: We have various departments and the way they communicate is very different. So we tried to get IT together with the department heads and understand how they want to deliver, what they want to deliver, and to work together to come up with a system and a platform on Symphony chats, in fact so they have their own wall, and it's easier instead of spamming us with messages. That’s helpful so we keep Symphony police. If somebody's doing something we’re like, “Don't put it on us. Put it on Symphony,” and we get them off email very quickly.

D. Brady: It’s more of an email killer.

P. Shin: Yes, because we want everybody to use it and communicate through Symphony. 

D. Brady: Can you quantify what you know then vs. now? Anything around how many people are using email? To what degree can you quantify how those conversations have moved to Symphony that used to happen on email?

P. Shin: I think the email traffic is down roughly maybe 30- 40% in 8 months. It’s a tool that people instinctively use like Twitter, WhatsApp, and all these things. And they #hashtag, $cashtag, and are having fun with it. You still need to know sometimes people send an IB chat on Bloomberg because they feel Symphony is not reactive, whatever. I just send a Symphony chat and we try to force people if you want to reach the boss.

D. Brady: How do you measure success? Email usage, financial, ROI, how are you measuring it right now?

P. Spera: It depends on the type of community you are. Community developers use it certainly for the integration with GitHub and so many other tools. But we look at another number of messages flowing through and pockets of the organization. We look to see who is connecting to our clients and the type of workflow changes that they need to enable. We certainly look at if they have that digital commerce and vision, and if there's anything that others can help them understand each other. The journey we need to be on as firms and clients to help each other.

D. Brady: Can you share any general metrics that have impressed you. This is what use case is and if you had to justify yourself.

P. Spera: We see close to 2 million messages a day flowing through the platform. Just to get people perspective of how much is being used. The mobile channel has grown in leaps and bounds. In mobile alone we have just over a million messages. So really showing that people are on the road and people in different positions can collaborate.

A. Salem: Our stats are much lower than that. Probably 20,000 messages a day. It’s all relative. That’s not really how we’re trying to measure success. We look at workflows that people do that have gotten better. So for example one of the selling points we’ve pitched to our businesses, if we’ve got a sales meeting with a potential customer at a coffee shop in Oklahoma City, they are completely disconnected from the office. But we can start to build these tools on top of Symphony and make that interaction better and make it better to close that sale and present more data to that potential customer. Those are the metrics we’re looking at. Any type of interaction like that where it's better now than it was before that’s a metric that we’re trying to measure.

R. Burks: Adam hit it right on the head and I think the way that we think about it is through the business capability model at the firm, right, so nothing we do in technology is for technology’s sake. So we've got flows that we want to monitor, performance, throughput whether it’s TCA in trading. There’s a whole variety of business outcome metrics that we're going to tie Symphony to. Pete makes a good point of the leading indicators that would produce results in those lagging indicators. Can't wait to grab you a coffee at the break and ask more about your metrics. But I would say more business-outcome focused, less around the use of Symphony.

D. Brady: One thing we haven’t talked about is partners, and as you go from 9 to 45+ how important is that to you? Does having more platforms help? What types of partners do you want on there? 

P. Spera: As you go and look at folks in the booth it’s the content providers. In our journey we’re deciding whether we build vs. buy. We naturally do that anyway, and there’s some great vendors that we're partnering with for content and enabling those workflows faster so if someone has a tool that can be used to really improve the workflow, that’s really what it was about. The collaboration and speed. We have a ton of vendor partners, probably three or four of the firms outside to really make those workflows quicker and easier, faster, better.

D. Brady: If you had advice, if you could wave a wand and change anything or accelerate something so there's no friction as you’re rolling out new tools, what would you change? This time next year you could be saying something that you have integrated into the platform or a functionality that would be transformative. 

P. Shin: I think that's as a platform if we could sort of-- we have so many different things right now and it's fragmented and if we can get all our providers, whether it's news or technology, and just put it all together, put it into the system, that would be great. Then I think it becomes cheaper as well, and quicker. Also, we have quite a few partners; first of all we have Piper Jaffray who’s our US partner. We like to have them on board, as well as our ECM partners who are the banks like Rabobank. So I don’t think it’s that possible, but hopefully in a year we’ll be pushing on with our end with all our providers, technology-wise, and all our partners.

R. Burks: I’d echo that the content portion of things the more we can move T. Rowe Associates into the ecosystem of Symphony and more content that's available there I think is probably the thing that I'm sitting here thinking for a year from now if that's continuing to move at that pace it is a pretty good place.

D. Brady: In terms of advice to each other, as you talk about people who are already on the platform, to what degree are you actually communicating with each other more? I mean I know it's different to different uses, different relationships; there's a certain “I don't ever want to talk to you,” “why would I?” But I'm curious as this community grows, to what extent does the community actually develop more ties and networks with each other? It's not just individual players that are in the network between those players. Any thoughts in the ecosystem already?

P. Spera: It’s super important. Other clients, peers, and partners in this room just connect and get on the platform. I also know Gavin, some other folks, are here from the open source Foundation. We want that community, the open-source in there as well with the vendors and we can collaborate and just build things. We all need the click-to-dial integration, video ability, content. David certainly knows the views that we have for those pieces and features. So we're looking forward to that investment.

D. Brady: How does that happen? Is it by osmosis or are you actually going out and facilitating more contact through Symphony the way that if anybody wants to reach Patricia internally that’s where they’ll find her. Is that the case for your firm?

P. Spera: We do both. We look at who's communicating with who, over what channel, whether it’s phone or email. You have chat today and we tell folks do you realize the person that you're dealing with today, these people are on Symphony and you can collaborate with them in a different way. That's number 1. Number 2 is that we go back to the point about workflow. Here's how we think the workflows can improve for speed, efficiency, time, hopefully revenue. The third level is reaching out to our partners through open source, knowing there's features that we all want to build and we think we can collaborate together over the platform. It’s what David mentioned earlier as a way to get that network effect. We want others building, whether it’s partners or people outside the industry to come and play a role in helping the platform succeed. 

D. Brady: I want to ask a psychological question. There’s various players within a company that are adopting this -- marketing, traders, IT.  Has everyone embraced it equally? Are some harder to convince?

A. Salem: I think we’ve seen better adoption rates amongst younger people than senior people in the firm. I'm thinking about some recent college graduates through maybe 10 years of experience. It's a generation who grew up living on their cell phones and text messaging, and they're the ones who are all about social communication and avoid face-to-face communication whenever possible and this is an enabler of that, and they're all on board.

D. Brady: And they never liked email anyway. What about within the firm. Are there particular groups that are very external-facing and traders who want to be on certain platforms? How have you found the enthusiasm between different groups.

R. Burks: I would say up to now I think we've seen equal levels of uptake, but there’s the group that I would say could potentially slow it down a little bit would be the sales folks. These are individuals are used to being out there, doing their thing, that are less connected until later in the day. I do see that once they see the value of potentially a Salesforce API and things like that and close the deal. I don’t anticipate it being a huge hurdle.

P. Shin: People who used to IM each other easily converted to Symphony, so it's the execution team.... Now the analysts came late, but they're actually embracing it quite quickly. I think we created, instead of having lot of noise, each room is quite specific. So we create a room so that if you don't want it, you stay out of it. That defines what's important to you, and what rooms I want to be in, and what information I can find in these rooms, and that helps.

D. Brady: As we finish up I want to give each of you the opportunity to basically give some takeaways to this audience as potential customers. What you think. Helps us see around the corner in terms of your own usage and what you expect to be seeing again this time next year or whatever point in the future make sense. Pete, I'm going to get the first closing thoughts from you.

P. Spera: For us I think it's what what Ryan said earlier. Really you've got to start focusing with folks on the current digital experience and workflow, and how you want to connect with clients and your workflows and then it all rolls from there. Spend the time to really understand how to advance it looking beyond chat, looking at collaboration, how to be more efficient. For us it took off from there. 

A. Salem: I would tie back to something David said this morning -- Financial services really is a community. You can’t trade by yourself. While many of us may be competitors with each other and are trying to get to the same customers, at the end of the day investing in a technology platform like this creates a more frictionless Marketplace. It makes us better able to specialize and do the things that we want to do better and I think if the entire industry can get on it, it's just going to move towards a more and more efficient Marketplace.

P. Shin: Symphony is very flexible and flexible for the future. I think that you have to go with the flow. I mean I can say I've been in the business for 34 years and I've seen the evolution from paper into what it is now, and it moves so quickly and it's amazing. I'm not IT, it all depends on the workload of the IT, but they understand and having them understand our needs and how quickly it can go just [grew]. So I think it's very very important to have this type of platform.

R. Burks: I would remind folks that we never implement technology just for technology’s sake, so I would start with the why. More importantly I’d mention that we didn’t talk about -- especially our tech community has thoroughly enjoyed working with a partner with an open source community that understands the things that we want to accomplish as an organization. And I can't say that for all of the firms that we work with, but often times it's a closed Community, they've got the sort of things that they're focused on. It's been since day one with the Symphony team that they're focused on what we're trying to achieve and the fact that it's an open source community is something that's been incredibly interesting and exciting for us as a firm.

This panel was recorded live at the Conrad Hotel in New York City on October 4, 2017.

Moderator: Diane Brady, Journalist and Founder, dB Omnimedia


- Adam Salem, SVP, Head of Equities Technology, AllianceBernstein

- Pete Spera, Managing Director, Head of Client Intelligence Technology, J.P. Morgan

- Patricia Shin, Global Head of Execution Services, Kepler Cheuvreux

- Ryan Burks, Chief Operating Officer of Global Technology, T. Rowe Price

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