IM Addiction Has Traders Itching for Bloomberg
The trading terminal war between Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, once a tightly contested battle, may be turning into a one-sided affair. Some traders have put their foot down, essentially refusing to make the switch to the less expensive Thomson Reuters terminals despite growing cost pressures at big banks and trading houses.
Market data products generated $7.5 billion in revenue for Thomson Reuters last year, down from $7.9 billion in 2008, Douglas Taylor, of Burton-Taylor International Consulting, told the Wall Street Journal. The global market-data industry grew 11% during that period.
Bloomberg appears to be picking up the pieces, increasing its revenues by 4.5% to 7.9 billion in 2012, a company spokesperson told eFinancialCareers. Bloomberg is hiring, she confirmed, while Thomson Reuters is cutting staff.
The main reason: Bloomberg terminals are addictive, and traders are having trouble weaning themselves off. It has less to do with market research than you’d think.
Bloomberg’s instant messenger service is the main communication channel used by traders, and one Thomas Reuters can’t replicate. From work talk to fantasy football chatter, Instant Bloomberg (IB) is how traders keep up with their “work boyfriend or girlfriend,” said one trader. Another told us that some clients simply won’t work with traders who aren’t operating on Bloomberg. Communication is just too painful.
A third trader said that his boutique firm moved to Thomson Reuters two years ago, but gave employees the option of sticking with Bloomberg if they paid the difference themselves. More than half of the traders at his firm are now paying more than $500 a month out of pocket to remain with Bloomberg. That’s an addiction.
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Worried your CEO is driving the company in the wrong direction? Check to see if they have these three key leadership attributes.
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