FT : Thomson Reuters Unveils Major Product Overhaul

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thomson Reuters will today unveil the biggest overhaul of its markets division since the merger that formed the financial and professional information group was completed two years ago this week.  A series of product launches starting next week and culminating in the autumn will bring together products from the former Reuters and the old Thomson Financial for the first time into two simplified platforms, one aimed at enterprises such as large banks and another aimed at individual users, such as small hedge funds.  The new web-based platforms, which replace traditional terminal commands with online search, are part of a drive to cater to “the 23-year-old at Goldman Sachs who grew up with Google”, said Devin Wenig, chief executive of Thomson Reuters Markets.

They are also aimed at distinguishing Thomson Reuters from Bloomberg, its arch-rival, which invested heavily through the financial crisis but has remained committed to its one-size-fits-all terminals.  Thomson Reuters now had to “radically slim the company down”, Mr Wenig said.  This would not be by cutting jobs – it plans to increase headcount “quite a lot” this year – but by reorganising its sales and support staff so that “everybody in the company is going to be working on one of these two platforms”.  Since the financial crisis began, big banks have consolidated, mid-sized customers have struggled, but a “long tail” of smaller customers has grown, Mr Wenig said.  To cater to smaller clients cost-effectively, it will introduce online training and customer support.  The enterprise platform, called Elektron, will launch next week and claims to offer faster delivery of data to clients, many of whom will be able to locate Thomson Reuters servers alongside their own to cut time delays, as Bloomberg does.  Mr Wenig said it would not change its pricing, but enterprise clients would find the platform “cheaper to run”.

Reference : FT, Apr 14th 2010.

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