Tom Groenfeldt of Forbes.com writes about what is likely to be a difficult year for news organizations that also sell financial data to investors and others interested in Wall Street.
Groenfeldt writes, “If current trends continue with banks cutting staff and spending, 2012 is shaping up to be a tough year in finance. Gillian Tett at the Financial Times wrote recently that 60,000 jobs were cut in the sector last year and no doubt at least a few of them had market data terminals on their desks.
“Firms are cutting back, said Douglas B. Taylor of Burton-Taylor International Consulting, which follows the companies that feed traders their data and news. Its annual survey, out in January, shows growth of 4 percent. But since 2.5 percent of that is price increases, the growth was in the 1-2 percent range, positive but not spectacular in a $24.5 billion global market, Taylor said.
“Thomson Reuters leads with about $7.6 billion and Bloomberg is next with about $7.3 billion. The two are the market leaders by far with about two-thirds of the total market for financial information. (Burton-Taylor strips out earnings from analytical tools, indices, fees from ratings and other non-information assets when it compiles its rankings. Thomson Reuters just completed the sale of its Kondor-branded risk business to Vista Equity Partners.)
“Thomson Reuters has had a rough couple of years with a major upgrade to its market data platform late and underperforming. It launched a package for hedge funds in June, competing with Bloomberg’s HBOX which launched in January. Both the head of its markets division and the company’s CEO left last year. The CEO, Tom Glocer, was replaced by a Thomson man, James Smith.”
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