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New Bloomberg terminal raises questions at Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters staff prepared for client questions following its main rival's launch of a new flagship market data service. David Craig, who heads the financial & risk business that includes Reuters news agency, circulated a list of customer talking points following the announcement.

Bloomberg’s new $100 million user interface is aimed at making its flagship terminal more intuitive and easier for financial clients to search for data and news. It is part of an effort to connect with a new generation of traders who grew up on internet browsers and are more comfortable using a mouse than the company’s customised keyboard. 

“Bloomberg will get press coverage and attention on this announcement, and we expect comparisons to be made to Thomson Reuters in the media,” Craig told staff on Monday. “In addition, clients may have questions.”

Craid added: “With financial & risk now into its third month as a business, we’re already delivering concrete wins for our customers.” He drew attention to print and banner advertising in the Financial Times “demonstrating ownership of the ‘Next’ brand and providing great visibility for Thomson Reuters”. The advertisements promote Westlaw Next, a product for the group’s legal customer base.

“We continue to set the pace in our industry in terms of using new, open technologies to deliver easier navigation, better search and more choice – all things our customers for both WestLaw Next and Eikon value enormously,” he said.

Thomson Reuters’ Eikon terminal, designed as a platform for dozens of disparate products that resulted from Thomson’s 2008 acquisition of Reuters, was introduced in September 2010. It also offers easier search features and allows customers to build different applications to customise it for their needs. Sales have disappointed Thomson Reuters shareholders, however. The company has more than 400,000 end users across its range of desktop products, of which 40,000 have signed up for Eikon, including 16,000 that have installed the product and are considered active users.

Bloomberg edged out Thomson Reuters last year in the $25 billion sector for market data and analysis, taking a 30.44 per cent share compared with Thomson Reuters’ 30.05 per cent according to New York consulting firm Burton-Taylor International. Thomson Reuters said the Burton-Taylor survey focused on terminal sales and did not reflect other market segments the company serves in the financial & risk unit, where revenue also comes from sales of feeds, foreign exchange products and compliance and regulatory products. ■