Reuters to focus on risk services as losses hit £533 million

Reuters is to concentrate its business development on risk management, treasury products and content management as part of an ongoing overhaul of the UK information and trading systems provider, instigated by chief executive Tom Glocer.

The company, which today unveiled losses of $533 million last year and plans to axe another 3,000 staff by the end of 2005, will increase its investment in risk analytics including risk management tools, as part of a so-called ‘fast forward’ strategy to restore the company’s profitability. This could take place through internal development or acquistion or a combination of both, a senior Reuters official told RiskNews. To date, Reuters' main risk management application is Kondor+.

Reuters also plans to build enhanced trading capabilities for equities and fixed-income markets, but declined to provide more specific details. But RiskNews learnt at the turn of the year that Reuters is hatching plans for a foray into the interest rate swaps business using a platform developed by joint-venture partner Icor Brokerage. Reuters already offers Icor’s foreign exchange options trading platform through its 3000Xtra terminals.

The company is also focusing on improving its data services. "There is no reason that our data should not be as respected as our news," said the Reuters official.

Reporting the company’s results today, Glocer said Reuters would exit the technology consulting and technology development work that is not specifically related to the company’s current suite of offerings. Instead, Reuters plans to establish channel partnerships with leading systems integrators.

Reuters also revealed that it had reached a deal with Multex's management to buy the company for about $195 million. Multex is a US company offering financial markets analysis. The companies already have a small joint venture in Europe and Asia called Multex Investor.

Meanwhile, Devin Wenig, previously head of Reuters’ investment banking and brokerage unit, was promoted to become a board director with responsibility for treasury, asset management, corporates and media in addition to his current duties.

Reuters made revenues of £3.6 billion last year, down about 8% on 2001. Its market capitalisation of about £2 billion is an eighth of its value compared with its peak at the height of the technology bubble.

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