Review of the year 2013
Sunday 22 December 2013
This year at Thomson Reuters was one of cost-cutting leading to re-organisation, restructuring and redundancies. Following are some highlights of developments reported on The Baron.
- Thomson Reuters laid off an undetermined number of staff in a renewed focus on costs “as well as the need to simplify and ensure we have the skills and expertise within our organization so we can continue to contribute maximum value to the business and our customers”
- Following recent large-scale layoffs and tight cost controls, Reuters is committed to an ambitious agenda in 2013, president and editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said.
- Cost-cutting at Thomson Reuters, where up to 3,000 people were laid off this month, may start to accelerate, a scenario made likely by continuing headcount reductions at global banks and relatively low equity and foreign exchange transaction volumes, analysts said in extensive investment reports.
- Cost-cutting in a watershed year helped Thomson Reuters achieve a two per cent rise in operating profit in the last quarter of 2012. The struggling Financial & Risk business, which serves financial institutions and accounts for more than half of total group revenue, has begun to turn around, the company reported.
- Thomson Reuters is slashing 2,500 jobs, about four per cent of its 60,000 workforce, this year as it cuts costs and tries to turn around its largest division. Severance will cost $100 million this quarter.
- Layoffs at Thomson Reuters disclosed in a presentation to analysts on the latest financial results have largely already been designated, according to a discussion on the company’s internal communications system.
- Thomson Reuters scored a key win for its Eikon sales campaign – the company’s flagship desktop terminal will roll out to the European Central Bank and 18 participating national central banks across Europe.
- Bloomberg outperforms Thomson Reuters by a wide margin in terms of revenue per employee, according to a US financial desktop product industry consultant.
- Thomson Reuters employees have been reminded always to act legally and ethically in line with the company’s Trust Principles and Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
- Reuters will soon roll out its “most important editorial initiative of the year”, eliminating “rote coverage” in a global project that may result in a smaller news file. The aim is to get rid of clutter in order to make the file more compelling and relevant.
- US law enforcement officials revived an investigation into how Thomson Reuters and other news agencies handle the release of economic data to investors.
- AlertNet, launched by the Reuter Foundation in 1997 as a pioneering humanitarian website for non-governmental organisations involved in natural disasters, was killed off as a separate entity on the Internet.
- Thomson Reuters reported a seven per cent decline in first-quarter operating profit caused by severance costs and a decrease in revenue at its financial & risk division.
- Thomson Reuters and market data rival Markit teamed up with leading banks to build a new messaging service to challenge Bloomberg.
- Andrew Rashbass, chief executive of The Economist Group, was appointed chief executive, Reuters, running Thomson Reuters’ news and media business from London. Reuters’ New York-based president and editor-in-chief Stephen Adler reports to him.
- The value of the Thomson Reuters brand slipped from a peak of $9.5 billion in 2011 to $8.4 billion last year, the brand consultancy Interbrand said.
- Thomson Reuters opened a new centre in Bangalore that is second in size only to its biggest site in the United States.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the relationship between Thomson Reuters and a supplier of key market-moving data.
- Thomson Reuters bowed to a New York attorney general request to suspend its early release of key market-moving data to an elite group of high-frequency traders who pay extra for the privilege.
- Thomson Reuters and the London Stock Exchange lost their joint bid to run LIBOR, an important bank lending benchmark tainted by scandal over rate-rigging.
- Thomson Reuters is looking at a major restructuring of its news division aimed at producing a sharper news file while cutting back radically on staff, relocating some operations to lower-cost centres, possibly closing many domestic-language services, and outsourcing sports coverage.
- Thomson Reuters extended the reach of its messaging tool to 1,300 buy-side institutions in the foreign exchange market in its latest attempt to break Bloomberg’s grip on communications within the financial community.
- Bloomberg beat Reuters in web traffic volume in July for the first time since December 2010, according to US Internet analytics company ComScore.
- Thomson Reuters is to shift focus from acquisition activity to organic growth, according to an internal account of chief executive James Smith’s recent meetings with regional managers.
- A whistleblower complaint was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission identifying 16 of the world’s biggest banks and hedge funds as early recipients of key economic data supplied by Thomson Reuters.
- Thomson Reuters continued to occupy the top spot in all major data markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2012 but lost significant market share to Bloomberg over the past five years.
- Reuters cancelled a high-profile consumer website called Reuters Next that had been in the works for more than two years and had struggled to meet deadlines and stay within budget. It will concentrate digital development on the existing Reuters.com site.
- Reuters Digital, the Thomson Reuters division that produces Reuters.com, expects its first full year of profitability in 2016 but until then sees about $20 million in annual revenue and roughly $20 million in annual losses, according to the website’s new publisher.
- Thomson Reuters chief executive James Smith said the business had been stabilised and credibility restored since he took over in January 2012 and the company is now ready to turn the page to the next chapter of its evolution.
- Reuters will cut around five per cent of jobs across the board in editorial, president and editor-in-chief Stephen Adler told staff in a conference call.
- Eight of the world’s largest investment banks have agreed to join a new instant messaging network from Thomson Reuters in partnership with UK data provider Markit to connect disparate messaging systems. It is their most ambitious assault on Bloomberg’s grip on daily communications in financial markets.
- The Thomson Reuters trustees would intervene if Canada’s Thomson family, majority owners of the business, sought to sell the Reuters editorial department, according to their chairman.
- Thomson Reuters said that net sales in its financial business turned positive for the first time since 2011 and announced 3,000 job cuts aimed at streamlining the business.
- Thomson Reuters CEO James Smith announced a further 3,000 job cuts and told the group’s 60,000 employees some of the early steps in its evolution into “a platform company” would be difficult.
- Reuters closed its Editorial Reference Unit, known to hundreds of journalists as Edref, and the senior researcher who ran it, David Cutler, left the company after 25 years along with many of the editors he had helped.
- Reuters re-organised its media marketing and sales structure to place greater emphasis on emerging markets and new areas of growth in a “challenging and dynamic media environment”. In place of the existing three regional sales teams there will be four. Some sales staff are leaving the company.
- News is under more threat than it has ever been and news organisations have to focus on profitability, Reuters chief executive Andrew Rashbass told an international gathering of journalists. The only sustainable guarantee of editorial independence is commercial success.
- Reuters will continue to see growth in the United States but whether it can break through into a heartland dominated by the Associated Press and Bloomberg will be a big ask, Reuters chief executive Andrew Rashbass said in an indication the agency’s focus there may have gone too far.
- Thomson Reuters promoted long-time executives to lead three of its profit centres – legal, intellectual property & science, and global growth & operations – as part of a wider reorganisation aimed at boosting growth and cutting costs.
- Thomson Reuters chief executive James Smith re-organised the group’s corporate technology function, saying technology was more important than ever to its future success.
- Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk division became a smaller, more focused organisation this year and is ready for growth, its head David Craig told staff in an end-of-year message.