UK – Jane Platt, president of buy side strategy at Reuters, says the information firm will announce a revamp of its asset management operations on April 2.

Platt, who is also chief operating officer of client segments, said that the company has “redefined” its asset management business. She said more details would be announced on April 2. The group, which accounts for around 24% of the group’s revenues, is currently being run by Julie Holland.

She also commented on the outlook for the industry in 2004. “I think there will be some consolidation,” Platt said in an interview, pointing out that European asset managers had been slower than their US counterparts in modifying their cost bases. She saw opportunities with the introduction of the Investment Services Directive, which would boost cross-border transactions.

The remarks came as the information provider said that asset management revenue declined by 11% to 630 million pounds (935 million euros) in 2003. The decline was broadly in line with the company’s overall revenue picture.

Platt said the asset management industry had held up in 2002, and the lower 2003 result reflected the delayed impact of lower markets.

“It’s still a slow market in Europe,” she said, adding there were favourable signs in the US. “We would expect it to take longer for Europe to recover.”

Platt said Reuters’ venture with Barra, which will see the risk software firm’s products on Reuters screens, is now ready for revenue generation worldwide.

The company said there were “encouraging signs that Reuters’ buy side offering is becoming more competitive” – citing a sale of a portfolio management system to Schroders Private Bank.

Overall, Reuters reported profit before tax, goodwill amortisation and one-off items of 190 million pounds. "Reuters is well on the way to recovery with the worst of revenue declines behind us," said chief executive Tom Glocer.