Refinitiv

Strategic communications support for the $27bn sale to London Stock Exchange Group plc

Challenge

Eterna was asked to support Refinitiv around external, customer and internal communications around this landmark transaction. Working closely with the in-house team and advisers, our role was to execute flawlessly the transaction communications for a highly newsworthy deal which was the largest transaction in 2019 in Europe. The challenge was to ensure customers understood the strategic rationale for the transaction, were excited by the prospect of a combination of Refinitiv and LSE Group. We also needed to reassure and motivate employees with the aim of maintaining the operational integrity of Refinitiv and delivering revenue targets during a long and potentially complicated completion period.

 

Approach

Eterna’s significant market structure experience enabled a sophisticated understanding of the dynamics of a complex business combination and sector and the clear articulation of the deal rationale. The key aim was to demonstrate the value of data as a defining product in the financial markets infrastructure industry of the future. Clear accountability between Refinitiv’s experienced in-house team and senior management and Eterna Partners on the allocation of work complemented a firm grasp of transaction deadlines. Our deep market intelligence and established journalist network assisted with media briefings post announcement.

 

Ongoing corporate communications support included creating media campaigns to help the launch of new product initiatives and partnerships across Refinitiv’s key product lines; the development of an activity timetable and rolling quarterly communications plan to capture product launches, high-profile events and press releases; collaboration with research and market intelligence partners to produce compelling and newsworthy reports and supporting Refinitiv’s outreach efforts around key regulatory events particularly around Consolidated Tape and the role of data vendors in financial services. We have also driven the ongoing mining of data sets to generate regular flow of news stories and renewed efforts to embed Refinitiv as the preferred supplier of data to target newsrooms. Eterna has rolled out a briefing programme in London, Singapore and New York to help educate journalists on optimal usage of Refinitiv’s data platform. Conference specific campaigns have maximised Refinitiv’s participation and sponsorship of events such as Sibos, WEF and UN Climate Week.

 

Impact

The news of the transaction was met with overwhelmingly positive market, investor and media support. Much of the commentary focused on the significant value of the Refinitiv business and the important role of data in the future shape of the financial markets. The proposed transaction is expected to be completed in late 2020, and Eterna’s objectives remain to support the business smoothly through the transaction process, while maintaining its growth momentum through client retention, driving top line sales, maintaining operational integrity and attracting and retaining the talent necessary to support Refinitiv’s growth plans.

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