December 2, 2014 / 6:20 PM / in 5 years

Symphony Communications buys Markit's chat service

Dec 2 (Reuters) - Symphony Communication Services LLC, a financial industry instant messaging company backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc and other big banks, said it bought the open messaging business of financial information provider Markit Ltd.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Symphony’s chat service allows financial firms, corporate customers and individuals to put all of their digital communications on one centralized platform.

Goldman led a group of 14 banks including Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co in making a $66 million investment in Symphony in October, when Symphony was set up.

The establishment of Symphony, led by chat industry veteran David Gurle, was widely seen as an attempt by the banks to lessen dependence on Bloomberg LP’s messaging and chat platform, known as Instant Bloomberg, which is used widely on Wall Street but comes as part of an expensive terminal.

Symphony also competes with Thomson Reuters Corp’s messaging service for financial professionals.

The business it bought, Collaboration Services, provides a secure directory for managing verified contacts across the financial services industry.

London-based Markit, which went public in June, has more than 3,000 institutional customers globally, including banks, hedge funds and asset managers. (Reporting by Avik Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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