Refinitiv’s proposal to close the Wrexham facility where it produces its Verified Entity Data as a Service – formerly the entity data service provided by Avox – looks like the beginning of a slippery slope as the company states that the proposal ‘has been made as we seek to focus our operations in fewer, larger centres as part of a global review of our operations.’ The statement continues, ‘This means we intend to close the site in Wrexham and relocate the work to larger operational centres in other locations as we look to drive results for our customers in a highly competitive environment.’
The company’s intended closure of the site puts 300 jobs at risk and is expected to transfer the entity data service to Bangalore, where Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk business) has operated a large data processing centre for about 10 years. It says it is in a consultation process with employees at Wrexham to consider whether there are other job opportunities for them within Refinitiv, and notes that some technology roles at Wrexham may be moved to Nottingham, where the company has a technology development centre.
Refinitiv’s proposal to close the Wrexham site has been met with considerable local concern, and questioned by former management and staff. In a LinkedIn post, Ken Price, formerly CEO of Avox, writes: “It is with sadness and frustration that I read about the former Avox business which Steve French and I started in 2002 in Wrexham, Wales being closed down and relocated to Bangalore by the new owners, Blackstone. The spreadsheet jockeys have completely missed the boat on this one. The benefits of the Wrexham operation far outweigh the marginal additional costs.”
Another post questions whether the high quality of data and communication with customers provided by the Wrexham team will be the same going forward. Refinitiv states, ‘Should our proposal move forward, we would focus on maintaining the high levels of quality to which clients have become accustomed.’