Some market data managers might not have been too happy about Bloomberg's recent hike in terminal costs by $60 a month, as echoes throughout the industry have suggested. However Lou Eccleston, managing director at Bloomberg, defends the rate increase and describes it as "relatively minor compared to general increases in expenses across other businesses in terms of cost. "It's maybe 4%." He also explains that Bloomberg is working on several initiatives, and the rate increase-which is not much higher than the last increase of about 3% three years ago-reflects those efforts.
One initiative Bloomberg is embarking on is a major staff increase, with several hundred employees already hired this year and that number expected to reach around a thousand in offices around the world by the end of this year. "We're basically trying to find as many good people as we can across the board, from news to development to sales departments," explains Eccleston. In terms of addressing customer service needs, he says that Bloomberg is already in the process of adding staff to its 24-hour help desk to increase customer access on weekend and holidays.
Bloomberg is also in the process of expanding other areas of product and service offerings. "There's a plethora of new offerings from data to analytics to news and electronic trading," says Eccleston. "We're offering new services, like a desktop that lets customers integrate proprietary applications into Bloomberg and display them through a Bloomberg window." In order to specifically help customers do this, Bloomberg is also forming a new team of staff to work with the internal development groups at different firms to facilitate the process, so they can "better write to Bloomberg's API and get data into their applications," adds Eccleston.
For its electronic trading customers, Bloomberg is building a new equities order management system for both the buy and sell side in the near future. Eccleston also says that Bloomberg's Tradebook electronic communications network (ECN) will be expanding to include fixed-income functionality. Overall, Eccleston emphasizes that the fee increase is "minor relative to the amount of services we keep adding."