Markit is open to discussions with other financial data providers to join its new open messaging service, launched yesterday with the support of eight major banks.
Heidi Johnson, head of collaboration services at Markit, said the new service is open to all financial market participants and that early-stage discussions have been held with Bloomberg, the provider of financial markets data, about joining the new network.
Markit Collaboration Services allows users to see user availability, send instant messages, use video and chat rooms, and exchange documents using their own in-house or third party proprietary messaging platforms.
The Bloomberg terminal is ubiquitous in trading rooms, with 315,000 subscribers worldwide and 200 million message exchanges a day, despite the company landing in hot water earlier this year for leakage of client information.
Johnson said Markit’s new service was fundamentally different from existing offerings because it provides an open network that anyone can join.
“Firms don’t need to change their messaging platform or install additional technology. They can use their in-house unified communication system, which until now has been mostly used for internal conversations as the systems were not interoperable,” Johnson said.
“We think that’s very beneficial in the cost-cutting, outsourcing efficiency era that we are in.”
Of the million or so estimated individuals working in the financial markets industry not everyone has a Bloomberg terminal or a messaging system that allows them to communicate with people outside the firm, she said.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley have already joined Markit Collaboration Services.
Thomson Reuters instant messaging tool, Thomson Reuters Eikon Messenger, will also link to the network.
Peter Moss, head of financial at Thomson Reuters, said the Markit initiative would remove all barriers to cross-market communication. “Instant messaging has become the tool of choice for financial professionals to make contact with their counterparties and clients and we want to make it as easy as possible for them.
“Markit is providing the connecting technology but the success of this initiative is driven by cooperation across the industry. Each contributing firm brings its own assets to the community that will drive messaging integration forward for the common good of the industry.”
The Markit service also provides an open directory, allowing people to find and communicate with one another.