Ex-Goldman Sachs tech executive Walker joins OpenFin board

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, NY, U.S. May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc technology co-head Paul Walker will join the board of financial technology company OpenFin, the firm said on Wednesday.

Walker, who helped advocate for Goldman giving away some of its trading technology, joins a company which also made freely available its core technology in May.

New York-based OpenFin is trying to be the “operating system” for Wall Street, similar to how Apple Inc’s iOS and Alphabet Inc’s Android systems power mobile applications.

OpenFin’s software helps banks and hedge funds create and upgrade trading applications as quickly and frequently as technology companies update apps on smartphones.

That compares to the six months to 18 months it currently takes for new applications or even updates to existing programs to reach a trader’s computer at major banks.

“What got me excited about OpenFin is how they’re making technology work across our industry to increase security and speed,” Walker said in an interview.

Walker, who left Goldman in 2016 after 15 years, also pushed for greater cooperation among the banking industry to make financial operations faster and more efficient, including technologies like blockchain.

OpenFin is used by 40 of the world’s largest banks and trading platforms and its technology powers applications across more than 125,000 desktops. Customers include JPMorgan Chase & Co, hedge fund Citadel and broker ICAP.

OpenFin in February raised $15 million in venture capital in its second round led by JPMorgan, Bain Capital Ventures and Euclid Opportunities. The company has raised $22 million in total.

Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker