According to the Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs is planning to release on GitHub some of the code that its traders and engineers use to price securities and analyze and manage risk. “The bank also is offering $100,000 in annual funding for engineers to build new applications using the bank’s code,” the report adds. “Goldman will own the resulting intellectual property, plus get an early look to invest in promising technology.” From the report: It is Goldman’s latest move to shed some of its trademark secrecy and share its once closely guarded technology. It is part of a broader shift at Wall Street firms to emulate Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook, which have opened up their technology to a community of enthusiastic developers. By letting outsiders tinker with its code, Goldman hopes to crowdsource new uses for it and earn the loyalty of computer-driven “quant” traders who have taken the investing world by storm.
Goldman’s proprietary trading engine, known as SecDB, once made its traders the smartest on Wall Street. It is credited with helping the firm weather the 2008 financial meltdown better than rivals. But a postcrisis ban on proprietary trading has made it more valuable as a service offered to clients than an in-house moneymaker. Over the past five years, Goldman has been building SecDB’s capabilities into a web application called Marquee, which now has about 13,000 users roughly split between Goldman employees and clients. The code coming to GitHub will allow users to interact directly with Marquee’s data feeds, pricing engines and other tools.