OpenFin has found a sweet spot with its open-source technology for financial desktop applications, and major Wall Street firms are flocking to it. Theres never been a time in financial services when this number of companies were all using the same technology to deploy and run their applications, says CEO Mazy Dar. Founded in New York in 2010 (and now with a second office in London), OpenFin developed software, based on Googles Chromium and the HTML5 web-browser standard, that lets programmers take advantage of the most-advanced, user-friendly interfaces across all operating systems, desktops and mobile devices. The number of bank and trading-platform customers doubled over the past year, to 30, and they, in turn, have used OpenFins HTML5 container to deploy applications to 44 sell-side and more than 250 buy-side firms. Both ICAP and Goldman Sachs Group spin-off REDI Holdings announced this year that they will be incorporating OpenFin technology in their next-generation trading platforms. Those firms, along with Barclays, Citi, CME Group and others, are represented on an advisory board that OpenFin set up in December in conjunction with the open-sourcing of its technology under an Apache 2.0 license. Most people are not wondering if its the right technology but instead are focused on implementing it and working with it, says Dar, 40, who has a BA in computer science and French literature from Cornell University, started his career as a programmer with SBC Warburg (now part of Swiss bank UBS) and was chief strategy officer of credit derivatives firm Creditex Group, which Intercontinental Exchange acquired in 2008. He stresses the importance of communication and collaboration with clients because they are the best source of ideas about innovations and problems that need solving. One of the latter is the need for interoperability, or compatibility between old and new systems. It might be the most important thing that we do, Dar says.
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