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Asset manager looks to cut Bloomberg fees with cheaper terminals

Looking to slash costs, UK asset manager Abrdn is exploring cheaper alternatives to Bloomberg terminals, widely used in the investment industry, according to the Financial Times. As part of a drive to cut about £150 million, Abrdn was considering scaling back its Bloomberg terminal subscriptions and trialling an alternative from FactSet, the paper quoted two insiders as saying.

Some staff on the investment team were in uproar over the news, according to the FT’s unnamed sources. The Bloomberg terminal is a data analytics and electronic trading platform. Each one costs around $30,000 annually. Abrdn has hundreds of people in its investment team and there is roughly one Bloomberg terminal per person.


As an alternative, a small number of staff in equities were trialling a product from US data and software company FactSet that costs a third of the Bloomberg price, one source said. Potential cuts to Bloomberg terminal subscriptions would only apply in equities and multi-asset teams, not the fixed income team, as it relies on Bloomberg for pricing data.


“It’s not a decision being taken lightly as it would be a complicated thing to change,” one source said. “I’m not desperately enthused at the prospect of having to change but, given the price differential, it’s worth exploring.”


An Abrdn spokesperson said: “No decision to change suppliers has been made. A small number of colleagues are trialling alternative technology so we can evaluate whether we can continue to meet all our needs but at a lower cost. If we decide to make any changes, this will be only done on the basis that our teams have the tools they need to work effectively.”


Bloomberg declined to comment.


Shares in Abrdn have lost two-thirds of their value since a 2017 merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. They have fallen 24 % in the past 12 months alone as investors have pulled assets and investment performance has faltered.


Abrdn has tried to cut expenses to boost its share price and return the asset manager to profitability under Stephen Bird, who has been chief executive since 2020. Last month he set out a plan to axe 500 jobs - about 10% of the company’s 5,000-strong workforce - as part of the £150 million cost-saving programme.




Financial Times