Reuters has created a new position – global head of enterprise data – and appointed Gary Barr to the role. The position, which Barr has held since July, has been created in recognition of the growth and importance of Reuters’ enterprise business. Among Barr’s main priorities in the coming months will be to spearhead the provision by Reuters of “data solutions”, as opposed to raw data, especially in “hot areas” such as credit derivatives.
Formerly in charge of the DataScope pricing and reference data business, Barr now has two key areas of responsibility. The first is to lead the creation and production capabilities in Reuters’ pricing arena, covering structured products and evaluated pricing services, for the whole of the company – Enterprise, Sales and Trading, Media and Research and Asset Management. The second is to act as owner for all enterprise data, including pricing, terms and conditions, corporate actions and analysis. He is responsible for ensuring the quality and coverage of information published.
For derivatives, Barr believes there is a requirement for a straight-through, end to end solution to meet the needs of clients at the beginning of the trade lifecycle and at the end, for matching and settlement. “In areas such as credit derivatives, the provision of data is useful to customers, but increasingly what customers want from vendors is a package of solutions, for example a vendor working with a re-vendor and a software vendor; a solution where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he says. Such a solution could combine provision of pricing with calculation of net present value with integration with software packages, enabling firms to automate their portfolio pricing processes and some of their operational risk processes. A key driver behind demand for such solutions is regulatory obligations such as MiFID, KYC and the Patriot Act.
Reuters will pursue partnerships in support of its strategy to provide data solutions, Barr says, and he believes a number of strong, niche suppliers would appreciate the opportunity to tap into Reuters’ distribution capability, from the desktop in the front office to the feeds in the back office, in pursuit of scale. Expect to hear more detail on potential partnerships in this area later this year.
Among Barr’s other priorities going forward will be to support the progression of Reuters’ content transformation programme, and to help ensure Reuters meets its data efficiency goals, including improving time to market for data changes such as new issues, corporate actions announcements and de-listings. He believes that rather than non-complex data sets, Reuters needs to be investing in areas in which its customers derive more value. “I am keen to ramp up our investment in pricing and structured product capabilities,” he says. “Our customers are moving increasingly into complex markets, and vanilla business is becoming commoditised. We need to move with the times and help our customers transform themselves to operate in complex arenas – and to help de-risk that process for them.”