Goldman Accelerates FinTech Disintermediation

By Susan Altman

Goldman Sachs, in a dramatic sign of the times, has recently started giving its clients for free the very software tools that made Goldman a global trading powerhouse, per the Wall Street Journal.  A decade ago, Goldman considered licensing the software to rival Deutsche Bank and threw around licensing values in the billions of dollars.  Now it’s free, at least for customers.  The software, known as Securities DataBase, or SecDB, remains Goldman’s prime tool for measuring securities risk and analyzing their prices and is used to analyze potential trades.  Why the change?  Some experts point the finger at new regulations limiting the banks’ trading risks and making it costly to hold large inventories of stocks and bonds on their books.  In addition, electronic trading and research has squeezed margins across the financial industry.  In an effort to build its customer base, Goldman plans to make the web-based application available to customers who can then customize and operate the tools on their own.  Goldman joins many others in offering its own risk-management system to customers, including startups and big players like BlackRock.  It seems like every Fin is now a Tech as well.

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