I have spent several years now working on Terminal Re-balancing and Cost Optimisation projects and I make a number of observations from my recent work…

My past experience as a Bloomberg user, and having managed Indices and Exchanges data for the UBS portfolio trading team, it was there that I was first accosted by market data groups with the ‘opportunity’ to perhaps replace my Bloomberg with an Eikon – presuming I would be quick win. 

UBS had hired a consultancy – who I will not name and shame – who interviewed me armed with stats and pleadings but had absolutely no understanding of my role, the markets, or of how to build the professional bridges toward a potential product substitution without loss of business value to me - the end user.

The prevailing myth in non-business functions is that the Bloomberg’s great ‘hook’ is Messaging/Chat.  This simply doesn’t tell the whole story, there are many more…

  • Bloomberg’s VWAP makes the terminal a ‘perceived’ must for Equities groups
  • Secondary order books for Credit Linked Notes are indispensable for Structured Credit
  • Execution platform (EMSX) is utterly necessary for trading US denominated securities outside the US without a Dodd-Frank passport
  •  and the list goes on…including the dependency on trading and other communities developed through Bloomberg messaging, Portfolio, Launchpad, and others.

The point is, the Bloomberg Terminal isn’t simply a market data terminal awash with securities and analytics that can be simply matched by other products … it is a markets terminal with entry points into the marketplace and functionality that are key to the way certain financial markets groups operate and interoperate with external parties.  It is for this reason that 3di operates a Profiling methodology to deduce functional dependencies on the Bloomberg as opposed to simply monitoring data use and telling end-users that they can switch to MarketMap (or any other lower cost terminal); that may be true – but if you don’t engage the end user in their domain and talk their talk then that swap simply isn’t going to happen.

I’ve had a certain amount of measurable success in re-configuring desktops for better balance using 3di’s Tiering methodology, but it requires investing time with the end users and various markets functions, coupled with being an experienced Bloomberg user myself.

Further discussion please do reach out to me – Terry Ng, Senior Market Data Consultant –