In a bid to win more business, Goldman is giving clients free access to its prized internal Securities DataBase ("SecDB"). The system calculates 23 billion prices across 2.8 million positions daily and has been used as a competitive advantage for decades to measure risk and analyze the price of almost any security.
Goldman had guarded it closely, resisting offers from rivals such as Deutsche Bank AG to license the database. One former partner recalls huddling with Gary Cohn, one of Goldman’s top executives, a decade ago to ponder what a licensing deal would be worth. Mr. Cohn told his colleagues he wouldn’t do it for $1 billion. For $5 billion? Maybe, he said, according to the former partner.