As the landscape of communication continues to evolve in our increasingly digital world, the financial services industry is feeling the pinch of regulatory scrutiny. In recent years, financial firms have faced nearly $2 billion in penalties from the SEC and CFTC due to unregulated “off-channel” messaging. This surge in “off-channel” communication, including usage of platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, SMS, LINE, and mobile calls, is largely fueled by the rise of hybrid work. Yet, regulators maintain that all business communications must be monitored, auditable, and occur only within official channels. In the words of SEC Chair Gary Gensler, “As technology changes, it’s even more important that registrants appropriately conduct their communications about business matters within only official channels. And they must maintain and preserve those communications.”
My Day 1… and a Little Bit of History
Symphony is the most secure and compliant markets infrastructure and technology platform, where solutions are built or integrated to standardize, automate and innovate financial services workflows. The Symphony platform is a vibrant community of over half a million financial professionals with a trusted directory and it is powering over 2,000 community built applications and bots. No minor feat. Let’s take a step back for a minute.
My story with the founder of the company, David Gurlé, started back in 2005. At the time, David was running Reuters Messaging and I was leading the Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments team. A constructive and very collaborative journey between David and myself started then. We agreed on a key fact: the industry needed a neutral and independent collaboration platform that would bring all market participants together.
And so it formally began in 2014. Under David’s leadership, Symphony set out to build this collaboration platform that would meet the industry’s needs for data security, data sovereignty and compliance. At the time, I was at IHS Markit (then Markit) where we had built a directory, which we agreed to combine with Symphony’s collaboration services. Symphony then went through a number of growth phases, which included a scale up of the service, significant increase of the user community and the expansion of its portfolio to include enterprise integrations, third-party apps, bots and other market solutions.
Nearly seven years later the foundations are solid, the core communication stack is complete and our volume 2 story has begun. We will continue to dive deeper into where our clients lead us: a comprehensive, front to back office workflow to tackle industry pain points, inefficiencies or capturing opportunities missed. Symphony will deliver networked market infrastructure, connecting and liquifying workflows powered by collaboration technology.
In terms of priorities, here are our top three:
- We will continue helping our customers win by accelerating their businesses, making them more agile and more profitable through standardization, automation and innovation. This will de-risk human processes and support our customers’ growth.
- We will keep investing in our company to drive our strategy deeper into markets’ workflows and tackle true pain points for the financial services industry. We will do this by building, partnering or acquiring strategic assets for us and the industry. Insider and Financial News recently reported on this.
- We shall continue to grow our community – leading with asset managers and partnering with their providers – and be local and relevant to micro communities, specific asset classes, regions and personas.
You can expect to hear a lot from us in the coming months and years. I am committed to balance the needs of our clients with those of our employees, industry and partners as we work to ensure that the human experience is at the center of the technology and market infrastructure we build and roll out.
I’m so proud and humbled to be on this journey with every Symphonian and all the players that will help us shape the future of technology for finance and markets’ tech infrastructure.
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