Symphony financial messaging set for wide rollout this year - Goldman
* 'Big asset manager' to make platform compulsory
* System aims to compete with Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters
* Banks say usage growing; Symphony declines to give numbers
By Patrick Graham
LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - Symphony, the WhatsApp for the financial world, will significantly increase its user base this year at major institutions including a top asset manager, shareholder Goldman Sachs said on Monday.
Google and 18 of the world's biggest banks and fund managers have invested around $170 million in Symphony, touted as a rival to the Instant Bloomberg messaging system and Thomson Reuters' Eikon Messenger, which link traders across the main global financial markets.
"On Symphony, we are already deploying it a lot internally, so are other banks," Goldman Managing Director Bobby Vedral told an industry meeting in London.
"There is one big asset manager who will soon start to make it compulsory for interacting with them. It will certainly be used in a widespread way within the year."
Asked about Vedral's comments, Symphony declined to name the asset manager involved. "We are rolling out with a number of clients but we're not ready to give details on user data or numbers at this time," a spokesman for the Palo Alto-based company said. Continued...