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A-Team Insight Blogs

Andrew’s Blog – The Reawakening of Thomson Reuters

The past few weeks’ organisational regrouping in the wake of the departure of Thomson Reuters Markets CEO Devin Wenig over the summer has been supercharged by this week’s news of a complete restructuring of Thomson Reuters by CEO Tom Glocer.

Glocer has named James C. Smith, currently chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters’ Professional division, to the new post of chief operating officer of Thomson Reuters, effective immediately. At the same time, he said: “the company will disband its current divisional structure (Markets and Professional divisions) and transition to a set of focused business units.”

Markets, obviously, is the combined former Reuters and Thomson Financial businesses; Professional comprises the former Thomson Corp.’s legal, tax and accounting, health-care and science business information divisions. Before he took on the role of heading this division – essentially, the rest of Thomson Reuters except Markets – Smith was COO of Thomson Corp., which he originally joined in 1987.

No-one is quite sure how this will translate ultimately into a new operational organisation, but clearly there will be no Thomson Reuters Markets per se, and no figurehead ‘CEO’ to replace Wenig.

Here’s what Glocer had to say about the move: “The changes we are announcing today will streamline our organization and enable us to work better across business units to achieve growth and capture operating efficiencies from scale. The professional markets in which we operate are marked by increasing collaboration among specialists and Thomson Reuters must operate with the speed and agility needed to serve these demanding professionals.”

And perhaps most tellingly: “I look forward to working with Jim and the senior management team in this new, flatter operating model.”

The new news, as it were, came just days after the ostensibly final piece to the Enterprise jigsaw – the appointment of Deutsche Bank’s Ralf Roth to head Elektron transactions and Enterprise strategy– had been put in place, and a new Enterprise organisation under Jon Robson was beginning to take shape. Meanwhile, the integration of the former Sales & Trading and Investment & Advisory groups under the Financial Professionals & Marketplaces divisional title and CEO Shanker Ramamurthy, was just taking root.

Enterprise seems furthest along. Following Glocer’s surprise appointment of Smith, and following the sale of the Enterprise Risk business to Vista Equity Partners, the latest incarnation of Enterprise looks like this:

· Terry Roche is head of the real-time business, including data feeds, trading room infrastructure (the Enterprise Platform) and the Elektron hosting and pre-trade transparency business.

· Ralf Roth is responsible for eking out value from the Elektron business, and for Enterprise Solutions Strategy.

· Gerry Buggy takes on Enterprise content (non-real-time) and associated delivery systems (DataScope), and valuations.

· Mike Powell – most interestingly – takes on a new cross-Enterprise role that explores how the pieces fit together, and how they fit with the offerings of Ramamurthy’s Financial Professionals & Marketplaces group.

Under the latest scenario, the new Financial Professionals & Marketplaces group’s main lines of business become the Eikon workstation – under the leadership of Philip Brittan – and the old Dealing FX transactional services. Further melding could take place under Glocer’s plans to flatten the business, though it’s unclear how those might look. Likewise, there are opportunities for cross-pollination with the Thomson Professional group, whether through legal data or governance, risk and compliance (GRC).

Meanwhile, Robert D. Daleo, chief financial officer of Thomson Reuters, has decided to retire next July 2012 when he turns 63. He’s has served as CFO, on the Thomson side, since 1998. In his place comes Stephane Bello, currently chief financial officer of the Professional division, who’ll take over on January 1, at which time Daleo will serve as vice chairman of the company until his retirement.

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