Goldman Sachs is sick and tired of paying Bloomberg for their messaging platform. Instead of paying $20,000 a year for their traders to use a Bloomberg Terminal, that includes instant messaging, they are now seeking to create their own communications platform. Goldman is leading several Wall Street firms in a bid to to purchase Perzo Inc.
Perzo describes their business as "bringing a new communication experience to individuals and companies that protect the privacy of our users data by encrypting all interactions end-to-end." Essentially, Perzo specializes in very private messaging, which is perfect for traders.
In order for financial professionals to use the Bloomberg chat feature, Bloomberg requires that they purchase the entire terminal. Perzo is open source, allowing companies to mold their features as they see fit. Best of all, their applications are free.
A source compared Bloomberg to Blackberry when speaking with Reuters, noting that it once dominated the market... but only until iPhone came out. However, not all traders believe Goldman could veer trader chat away from Bloomberg.
Several traders told The Wire they would be reluctant to move away from the existing chat platform. One trader explained, "[Bloomberg Terminal] is a necessary thing. Traders and salespeople use it all day long, they even use it to execute trades. I think it's set up totally fine. The problem with a competitive product is making sure it has the same capabilities and that everyone on Wall Street will use it. As of now, everyone uses BBG and it works."
However, this does not mean all hope is lost for Perzo. After all, BBM was essentially replaced by iMessage. And Goldman has been working on alternative messaging platforms since 2013 with Project Babel.
Neither Perzo nor Goldman have returned a request for comment.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.