As the vast selection of collaboration tools available to institutional traders continues to grow, coupled with the accelerated adoption of emerging technologies, many firms are struggling to address the knock-on effect this is having on trader workflows. In the seventh episode of Cloud9’s podcast series examining developments in the voice trading landscape, Cloud9’s Chief Operating Officer Jim Miller and Symphony’s Chief Product Officer Michael Lynch examine how fragmented workflows can be solved by consolidating trading tools with voice capabilities and how Symphony’s recent acquisition of Cloud9 is playing a key part in alleviating challenges.
New York and London, 24 June 2021 – Symphony – the leading financial markets’ infrastructure and technology platform – has acquired the trader voice and electronic communication company Cloud9 Technologies (Cloud9). With this acquisition, Symphony will take the lead in front office communications with new services and solutions combining trader voice with natural language processing (NLP) and automation. The combined offering will accelerate trade flows, improve transactional accuracy, and extend back office and remote worker use-cases.
“Symphony is building on our solid technology foundation and global network as we seek to tackle true pain points in markets’ workflows. With this acquisition, Symphony takes the lead in the nascent market communications space and brings mission-critical trader voice capabilities to the Symphony platform, by adding C9’s features to our secure and compliant communication stack, with chat, voice and video meetings, file and screen sharing. Our combined capabilities will allow for more integrated and immediate conversational workflows, and front office users will be better served,” said Symphony’s chief executive officer, Brad Levy.
In the last year, Symphony solidified its position in financial services as critical markets’ infrastructure, while Cloud9 established itself as a leading cloud voice platform for financial markets. The combined capabilities of the two companies will reshape how market participants interact as well as unlock meaningful and innovative workflow and data analytics solutions. Symphony’s full front-office communication solutions will enable connectivity to both remote and in-office financial services professionals while offering a high-quality trader voice communications experience to its global user community.
“Six years ago, Cloud9 set out to change how trader voice services were delivered to the modern trading desk. As messaging had already impacted the trading communications workflow, we felt the value of voice communications in fast and complex trading scenarios would be renewed by leveraging cloud delivery to create a community of users and provide them with the tools to communicate verbally. The Cloud9 team is excited to join forces with Symphony. It is clear to us that the collective capabilities of our organizations will further drive value to the financial services community, enhancing and accelerating the delivery of secure cloud-based multi-modal communications. We are excited about the future together for our company and the industry”, said Gerald Starr, CEO of Cloud9 Technologies.
The acquisition of Cloud9 Technologies is expected to be the first of several acquisitions for Symphony. Levy has previously shared that Symphony would buy, partner with, or acquire strategic assets for the company and the industry, as reported by Insider, Financial News and Asian Private Banker. Symphony is now positioned to deliver the next wave of markets’ communication solutions.
Marlin & Associates and Goodwin advised Symphony while Broadhaven and Wilmer Hale advised Cloud9 in this transaction.
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 from 500+ market participants with a trusted directory. It is powering over 2,000 community-built applications and bots. The company was founded in 2014 and has raised $510 million from institutional investors.
About Cloud9 Technologies
Cloud9 Technologies is the leading voice communication and analytics platform designed for the unique needs of the financial markets. Cloud9 developed a solution that harnesses the voice communication talk path for the trading floor of the future – offering more functionality and analytic insight than legacy hardware at a fraction of the cost. Cloud9 connects counterparties across all asset classes via a cloud-based communication platform that eliminates the infrastructure and expense associated with legacy hardware and telecommunication-based solutions, with front-office focused data and transcription, purpose-built for the financial markets. For more information, visit www.c9tec.com.
Head of Global Communications
Symphony Communication Services
+44 (0) 7747 420807 / email@example.com
As the global pandemic continues to force institutional traders to work remotely, firms need to ensure they have the proper solutions in place to effectively capture, store and use voice metadata – regardless of their location. In the sixth episode of Cloud9’s podcast series examining developments in the voice trading landscape, Cloud9’s Product Manager Alex Francisci, and Intelligent Voice’s Chief Technology Officer Nigel Cannings, examine why institutional traders need to be able to leverage voice metadata to make more informed decisions, especially when it comes to their overall strategy and pertaining to the regulatory compliance process in the new working environment.
As the financial industry continues to transition towards a predominantly virtual environment, institutional traders need to be able to easily access the right tools to stay connected and enhance workflow efficiencies. In the fifth episode of Cloud9’s podcast series, Cloud9’s Chief Innovation Officer and Co-founder Leo Papadopoulos, and Chief Operating Officer Jim Miller, examine what voice trading capabilities institutional traders must have in a distributed workplace and how a cloud-based platform can provide a more secure, mobile and accessible ecosystem.
The last year has been a whirlwind for everyone. And while regulators such as the CFTC have offered temporary relief and extensions to certain voice trading and record-keeping rules in the increasingly virtual environment, distributed compliance parameters still remain a pivotal element of the institutional landscape. A distributed workforce is not a new concept in any industry, including capital markets. However, a lot of firms continue to struggle with how to address the challenges they’ve faced in the process, particularly in a shifting market ecosystem. While every company needs to employ remote working capabilities, there’s no question that it is difficult to manage and can create potential compliance challenges.
Shifting to the Cloud
With financial institutions acclimating to a longer-term remote strategy and some even beginning to employ permanent work-from-home policies, there has been not only an increased appetite for the cloud – but an increased need. The cloud has become particularly important in enhancing flexibility and redundancy. For the first time, firms are more open and comfortable allowing their data – including voice and communication data and disaster recovery solutions – to reside in the cloud. With users that traditionally work both on and off the trading floor distributed across numerous locations, the cloud has become the easiest place to store and retrieve data. While compliance vendors have typically offered on-premise solutions, cloud-based support is still in its nascent stages. This has opened the door for compliance providers to offer new and more sophisticated products. Conversely, customers need to be asking whether or not compliance vendors can provide both on-prem and cloud-based support.
Open and Interoperable
At Cloud9, one of our goals has been to establish a community of specialists that collectively addresses the integration, efficiency and mobility challenges that firms have faced in the virtualization of our industry. The key is ensuring that vendors are interoperable to enable efficient workflows and avoid performance issues for customers. The same goes for voice trading APIs, which are becoming increasingly more sophisticated to align with the need for greater flexibility in the institutional trading community. Each company will format their data within APIs a bit differently. As a result, if you’re a compliance vendor for instance, you need to be able to normalize data before it can be used.
Industry-wide Data Standard
This raises the question of whether or not an industry-wide standard for data is necessary. For now, it’s not imperative but as data sets become larger and more complex, this may be something that we see the industry transition to, especially as teams become more dispersed and compliance oversight becomes more challenging. To learn more about distributed compliance and how to navigate these challenges in our shifting landscape, please sign-up for Cloud9 and EY’s Distributed Compliance Virtual Roundtable on April 8. You can secure your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Cloud9’s voice trading and cloud solutions, please contact us at email@example.com