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Tom Glocer: We'll end uncertainty over pension increases

Thomson Reuters is trying to end uncertainty over discretionary increases in the two legacy UK pension plans, chief executive Tom Glocer said on Tuesday.

The plans - Reuters Pension Fund and the Supplementary Pension Scheme - are currently about 90 per cent funded. The company’s last major injection of funds was in 2006. 

A more permanent method of increases has got to be the right approach, Glocer told members of The Reuter Society. The issue was what was a fair result. “It’s more an issue of the deficit, and an issue of what the company can contribute. It’s more an issue of what the company can do.

“I’ve told them, find some way so we don’t just leave people with uncertainty… It doesn’t sit well with me and it doesn’t sit well with Thomson colleagues as well.”

Glocer said he was mindful that there had been no inflation increase to pensions in the last two years, adding:  “I care a lot about our obligations to our pensioners and all our pension plans around the world.

“We’ll do whatever we need to do,” Glocer said at the Society’s 2oth anniversary meeting in London.

“It’s not some black hole that nobody cares about. I do, the finance director does, and more important, the treasurer does.”

Answering questions put by Michael Cooling, former corporate relations manager, Glocer said he had spent a lot of time on the cultural fit between the Thomson and Reuters sides of the company. “In the longer term it’ll be the cultural dogs that don’t come back to bite.”

The CEO also made these other points:

  • The financial services side of the company - the markets division’s 60 per cent of the business - was challenging and banks were not forecasting profit growth next year. Growth on the professional side of the company in 2011 would be somewhat stronger than in markets and the whole of the company could grow by five to seven per cent.
  • The adoption of the Reuters Trust Principles by the entire merged company was “a pretty good test of character”.
  • The resignation of columnist Neil Collins over trading in shares he owned and wrote about on the commentary service Reuters Breakingviews was less damaging than a series of issues in the Middle East. “What he did knowingly and on multiple occasions was to break the rules of the Reuters Principles and Breakingviews as well. I’m quite confident he wasn’t trading on inside information. The facts of the case were pretty straightforward. I worry more about our neutrality and independence in reporting from Israel and the Palestinian Territories because people scrutinise every word from there.”
  • The Thomson Reuters Alumni group will be re-established but budgets are really tough for next year and an electronic structure will be built before events can resume, possibly in 2012 or perhaps the second half of 2011. To make it effective there had to be a proper plan to ensure communications between the disparate elements of the Thomson Reuters group. 


PHOTO: Left to right, Reuter Society chairman Stephen Somerville, Tom Glocer and Michael Cooling. ■