Symphony keeps arms open for the right partners

Dan Barnes

Symphony, the capital markets communications platform, and Genesis the low-code application platform (LCAP) have partnered to support the development of interoperable technology and applications, with Symphony indicating collaboration could be on the cards with select other firms.

The relationship between Genesis and Symphony is intended to increase financial markets collaboration by pairing Genesis Low-Code Application Platform to drive digitisation with Symphony’s collaboration platform which connects capital markets participants, allowing a greater speed of service development and deployment.

Brad Levy, president and chief commercial officer at Symphony said, “The app creation process can be a nightmare for firms and as monolithic platforms are going away, the question is, how can we create smaller apps, quickly? Genesis’s model is to develop apps in depth, which I like. We see the creation process can be accelerated, while the launch process is facilitated by firms like Openfin and Cosaic which handle containerisation.”

He notes that the Symphony and Genesis offerings complement each other in driving the digitisation agenda.

“Our vision at Symphony is to improve connectivity, connecting more people and more systems, empowering capital markets and finance professionals in a straightforward and compliant way. Our partnership with Genesis will encourage community-led innovation and make it quicker and simpler for our users to securely access the latest desktop applications. This in turn will improve workflow efficiency, while organisations will be able to future proof their business with technology that is fit for both today and can easily and quickly adapt to the changing market environment of tomorrow.”

Genesis and Symphony’s partnership is intended to improve workflow productivity while also ensuring that clients can meet the right standards of global regulatory compliance. A range of applications designed and built on the Genesis Low-Code Application Platform will be made available to the over half a million financial professionals in the Symphony community.

Genesis Low-Code Application Platform, designed for the specific requirements of the financial markets, is designed to support the rapid creation of applications without having to write substantial lines of code. It is an enterprise-scale offering uniquely positioned with the extensive Genesis Application Library of pre-built applications. This helps market participants quickly address a spectrum of front, middle and back office challenges from the simple Business Process Management (BPM) workflows as well as extending to the complex use cases such as real-time trading solutions and risk management. 

“Best of breed apps are like chains of islands, or even continents, that [Symphony] can connect to other continents, as we are part of that communications fabric,” says Levy. “But we cannot just be like Verizon with [additional] knowledge; to add value we have to be the communications platform that knows and understands the deep workflows which these apps facilitate.”
Symphony’s collaboration and messaging platform was built for the financial services industry and claims to have over 535,000 users from more than 360 companies worldwide. The platform allows applications and users to share information, context and intent, in a secure and compliant way. This year the company has reported record growth in its community with a 32% increase in monthly active users, and over 170 million messages sent every month.

Communication tools for over-the-counter (OTC) markets, such as bond trading, are critical as trades typically need to be negotiated, both in primary and secondary markets. The most commonly used execution protocol in fixed income, accordign to The DESK’s Trading Intentions Survey, is Bloomberg messaging. The newly launched DirectBooks platform, backed by a consortium of banks, describes itself as a ‘communications platform’.

“If you look at DirectBooks it is a very focused, fixed income capital markets tool looking at communication,” notes Levy. “We are a very broad comms platform that has the ability to go deep. I would expect to be interacting with them at a very deep level in the future. I know there could be a 20% overlap between us in the future, but that overlap binds us strategically, it is not so significant that we might struggle to partner. They are communicating new issue information, we are communicating more broadly, but we are focusing in on primary market workflows.”
Both the Genesis Application Library and the Genesis LCAP that help users to create their own bespoke applications will be Symphony ready. One example is a trade allocation manager application that has already been fully integrated and is available to the Symphony community. The multi-asset class solution automates middle office workflows and enables trade capture directly from the Symphony messaging platform, providing straight through processing (STP) for trade files, confirmations, and settlement. In addition, users can integrate with different front and back office applications.

According to Symphony, any community member will be able to communicate trade information data through secure, end-to-end encrypted messaging on the Genesis Low-Code Application Platform. Levy notes that the fixed income markets have considerable potential to bring structured and unstructured data to bear on solving challenges that exist in current workflows.

“In fixed income there is a lot of trading, chatter and data out there on the side of the road which is not being used. I think that the fixed income world – from derivatives to securities – will see a lot more action over the next couple of years.”

©The DESK 2020