Monday, August 1, 2011

2011 - Check In on Predictions

August 1 - can it be the summer is nearly gone and the year over half way gone?  It is true and as a result, I thought I'd take a look back on my 5 fearless predictions for 2011  and see how I've done.

Prediction 1 - Organizational Shake up at Thomson Reuters.  I guess I got this one right.  After one minor adjustment in February, the much needed shake happened just a couple of weeks ago.  More changes are sure to follow as the Woodbridge team look deep into the organization.  Whether the changes turn around lack-luster performance in some of the units remains to be seen.  We'll weigh in once more becomes available.

Prediction 2 - Factset expands into Investment Banking with more gusto.   Ok, I guess Factset hasn't done much here.  In reading through their quarterly releases, sell-side business has been 18% of new revenues since early 2010.  They remain arguably the choice desktop for portfolio managers and researchers and continue to make in-roads within M&A functions.  However, if they did more to tie the buy and sell-side together through research and advisory tools and collaboration, they could hit 20 to 25% growth.  For now, this is a miss, but to reach a billion dollar company, diversification of their portfolio of products is needed and Banking makes the most sense.

Prediction 3 - InfoGroup enters into financial services.  This might be a 2012 actuality as opposed to 2011, but signs are there.  The company, under Clare Hart, has sold off a couple assets and Gemma Postlethwaite has brought on board ex-Thomson Reuters I&A content strategist Christian Ward, who's work in the financial data space is well known.  With the pending changes at TR, I would expect Ms. Postlethwaite and Mr. Ward to poach a few former colleagues for InfoGroup to set the stage for an aggressive 2012.

Prediction 4 - Market data accelerates to the cloud.  Well, this one was true, and as expected it wasnt a named vendor but an exchange that set the bar.  NYSE Euronext made a couple announcements the first part of the year which showed the exchanges commitment to the cloud as a technology solution for the industry.  In particular, their announcement of a "Community Platform" in cooperation with VMWare and EMC.  As I noted in this research report in partnership with Saugatuck Technology, this move has tremendous upside for customers and NYSE.  Will more exchanges follow NYSE's lead?  It remains to be seen.  As for vendors, they seem to be lagging well behind.

Prediction 5 - Apple acquires  This one hasn't happened (yet) but it still remains appealing.  As noted by Business Insider, Apple has over $76 billion in cash on its books, more than the US government at the time of this post. market cap is only $19 billion.  Apple hardware and software/platform make an ideal combination for the enterprise.'s annual conference is scheduled for August 30 to September 2 and each Dreamforce they have a major announcement.  What will this year's be?

Of the 5, 2 have been correct, 1 is leading to be correct and the other two are still out - not bad.  With another 5 months to go, here's hoping I go 5 for 5.
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