Thread regarding Refinitiv layoffs

Capable leaders

I would have agreed with most of this until the comment was made about DW or NM being capable leaders. There is not one leader that I came across in my last years at TR that had the balls to make a bet and move the company to a place where earnings discussions would not caveat every single quarter with "currency headwinds."

The start of the end of TR to me was the minute JP left the company as CTO. You may not have liked the guy's personality, but he was smart. His replacement was neither technical nor in any way a "technology officer." NM was simply in the role to downsize and outsource the entire technology organization. Why? Because no one could sell the piss poor (and often late) products that TR continued to produce. DW sort of got the fact that data was the opportunity but never put it out there to make the bet. So, you got a half-assed portfolio of stuff where aspirations of a return to "mid single digit growth" were as good as you got, and the numbers only looked good because the technology organization was gutted through spending cutbacks that were exactly the opposite of what they should have been doing.

The tragedy in this? There were some outstanding businesses that could have been bet upon in a big way. The CLEAR business is one example. Competent leadership, limited oversight from the main TR executive management (TRSS has a separate board and is able to be do things away from the mess that is TR), and a very smart team was producing year over year revenue growth that would have made the street notice. Never saw NM get behind this at all in my time at TR.

The simple thing is this and back to the point of the article. Some of us had an idea this was underway and that was the reason you heard DC banging on about getting to a margin level for F&R. I feel for all the good people that got swept away in the aftermath. The lesson though here is simple. Private equity does not behave with any emotion. If you're a leader and you catch wind of private equity sniffing around your firm, you owe it to your employees to be honest and tell them how it's going to play out. They deserve to know. I am still stunned that so many employees appear to have been taken by surprise by what has happened? A simple google search of "what to expect when private equity buys your company" will return any number of stories.

I will say though that TR employees are largely lucky to get the payouts they received and the accommodations that are certainly more the exception than the rule. For that, you should thank TR management for not dumping you on the street with a cardboard box of stuff and 2 weeks of pay. You got a better deal than many people would in a private equity takeover, but you should never be naive about a change like this.

The best bit? The economy is largely doing ok. You might take a pay hit in the short term, but you'll find a new job and a new life. If you're lucky, you'll actually get to work for a company that is achieving revenue growth and profit that TR/Refinitiv would kill for. You might find leaders that are willing to bet on ideas and people and not be afraid to take a business into a new place. Just don't expect it to be DC, DW, NM, JF, SB, or even DT himself. There's a guy with billions willing to throw money to save a dying entity called the Globe & Mail but not willing to put a similar amount into an opportunistic business. Shame.

Post ID: @XaeAqdh

2 replies (most recent on top)

I'm glad you like that post. I tried to keep it balanced, but it's really hard to say a lot of good things about the senior management with the exception of the deal they cut with Blackstone to at least get people decent severance packages. The theory of being private is that you can take a longer term strategy and investment plan (as Bloomberg does) and not have to worry about reporting to the street every quarter.

The fallacy is that Refinitiv is private with a controlling interest from Blackstone. It's easy to see how this is going to turn out. Employees should not make any bets on Blackstone holding this asset long term. They will spin things out. They will continue to squeeze. They may make a bet or two on things they think have a lot of growth opportunity. If I would venture a guess, it would be the Risk business which has at least shown double digit growth in spite of everything. That said, the Risk business would probably also generate the highest return if sold off in the next 12-24 months, since the multiples for companies being sold in this space are pretty high.

If you like your job at Refinitiv (or at TR if you're one of those that have crossed to this board), good on you. Just don't get lulled into thinking this is all over. It isn't by a long shot, and if you want to control your own career destiny, neither company is where I would place my bet. On the TR side, the only way they will grow is through acquisition and cost cutting. On the Refinitiv, side, you are ultimately most likely to be sold onward at some point. Connect with people you have good relationships with outside of the company. No matter how safe you might feel, make sure your resume/CV is up to date, and go explore other opportunities.

Post ID: @XaeAqdh-3zrc

Thank you ! That's a very good article and I tend to agree with what you said about private equity, I think many if not the whole lot are expecting something good to happen....and these guys , i.e. BS they're doing business full stop , so don't expect them to turn Refinitiv to a gem ....

The rest I guess leaders we have they are like tho se politicians they s--- your blood with lies when they don't have a descent strategy

Post ID: @XaeAqdh-amb

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