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Thomson Reuters Markets: Biff, Bang, Pow(ell)

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No sooner had the ink dried – metaphorically speaking – on Shanker Ramamurthy’s appointment as head of Thomson Reuters Markets’ Sales & Trading group, than news wafted its way across the Atlantic of Roseann Palmieri’s departure as head of Enterprise content.

Palmieri, you’ll remember, was hired as part of Thomson Reuters’ drive to bring those with direct industry experience (ie., bankers) into the senior ranks of its management. Her departure – after just a year – is a bit of a surprise, and probably not just to us. But it’s not nearly as surprising as her supposed destination: Bloomberg.

More of that later. In the meantime, Thomson Reuters confirms that Mike Powell, who’s been leading Enterprise’s Elektron initiative, will take over as head of Enterprise content. I can’t help but feel that this was the job he had before Palmieri appeared on the scene, along with David Kelly, now Enterprise’s chief technology officer, and Tanya Ezekiel, global head of business operations for the group. But that’s just me.

While some may see Palmieri’s early dash for the exit as a bit of a downer, others had already suggested (to me, anyway) that she wasn’t necessarily the best fit. Certainly, there was some gritting of teeth among the Thomson Reuters old guard when she arrived from Merrill Lynch (she had also spent time in senior roles at Bank of America Securities and at Deutsche Bank).

But envy is a powerful emotion. Whatever the case, word has it that she’s heading for Bloomberg, where she’ll lead the historically enterprise infrastructure-averse company into the ‘new’ world of enterprise data. Presumably she’ll report into Shawn Edwards, Bloomberg’s chief technology officer.

We’ll see. Meanwhile, back over at Sales & Trading, Reuters-watchers have been over the changes at Sales & Trading with a fine-toothed comb and made some interesting observations. One is that Ramamurthy’s remit includes off-trading floor professionals, long the territory of Investment & Analysis.

We take that to mean an extension into the mid- to back-office, but it will be interesting to see how those fit together. Another is that Bill Harts, who’ll take over as head of strategy for Sales & Trading, seems to be taking on at least part of that responsibility from Matthew Burkley, CFO for Sales & Trading, who had been fulfilling both roles.

Will CFO be enough for Burkley – a rising star of the Thomson Financial days – is what people are asking? Or, was the strategy role at Sales & Trading just a placeholder? Finally, how will Harts’ role – with its focus on algo and electronic trading and the platform used to deliver both – square with that of one Philip Britton, who was fairly recently hired to lead Eikon platform? He hailed from Google, by the way, and before that Bloomberg.

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