21 February 2019
Bloomberg Asia head Mark Flatman says the company has only recently expanded its sales team and analytics desk. Photo: Bloomberg
Bloomberg Asia head Mark Flatman says the company has only recently expanded its sales team and analytics desk. Photo: Bloomberg

Bloomberg to hire in China amid industry downturn

Bloomberg L.P., the world’s largest financial market data and information provider, will continue to expand its Chinese business by launching more products and hiring more local talent despite an industry downturn.

The company plans to hire new local staff and develop more localized functions on its terminals and produce more local content.

In contrast, its major competitor, Thomson Reuters Corp., announced 3,000 job cuts last year, mainly in its financial and risk division, after it eliminated 2,500 positions that same year.

Things are not very optimistic for other media players either, especially in the newsroom.

BBC News saw a net reduction of 220 jobs in July after cutting about 200 between 2012 and 2013. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today also announced plans to eliminate positions.

Bloomberg is ratcheting up its mainland business, investing heavily in new hires.

“We will continue to invest across Greater China. In fact, we just recently expanded the sales team and the analytics desk,” head of Asia Mark Flatman told EJ Insight.

“We have recently hired five experienced financial professionals and graduates from China’s top universities for our sales force,” he said.

Flatman did not say how many people they plan to hire.

The analytics desk is the round-the-clock customer help desk for Bloomberg terminals. It has helped produce sales people who have become familiar with the workings of the terminal operations and their competitive advantages.

Global spend on market data or analysis rose 1.1 percent to US$25.88 billion in 2013, the weakest growth since 2009, according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting LLC.

“We didn’t see a drop in spending, [in contrast] we are seeing stronger business growth… not only in China, but every geography and office across Asia is expanding,” Flatman said.

Bloomberg has seen 20 percent growth in Hong Kong and in the rest of Asia in the past few years. Revenue from Asia accounts for about 20 percent of the total.

Besides onshore subscribers, an increasingly global yuan is driving demand for tools and data that can connect investors to China through offshore markets.

As part of the expansion plan, Bloomberg will introduce more specific functions and solutions for the onshore and offshore China market.

“We will work on offerings in portfolio management, risk models for the Chinese market and data analytics around bond futures,” Flatman said.

“We are the first to market with onshore renminbi tools and data for portfolio valuation and risk analysis. We are also the first to deliver China interbank foreign exchange rates globally.”

Bloomberg launched a bond portal tailored to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations) market, featuring an aggregated platform for local currency bonds to enhance transparency and liquidity for investors.

However, its plan to offer more Chinese content could be a hard slog.

Last year, it was reported that a Bloomberg editor killed a story about alleged hidden financial ties between wealthy Chinese and the families of the country’s top leaders.

Another story about the children of senior officials employed by foreign banks was also axed.

Bloomberg maintains that its news coverage in China complies with its license to report the news there. 

– Contact the reporter at [email protected]


Ayishah Ma is a financial reporter on Greater China issues.

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe