Outlook 2016: Deb Walton, Thomson Reuters

Deb Walton is the chief content officer at Thomson Reuters.

What were the major themes in your business in 2015?

Big data continued to dominate the conversation in 2015, along with just about everything related to it: risk management, regulation, open data, the growth of the information economy, and the Internet of Things—which one expert says could well be called the Internet of Everything because of the extent of its reach.

Deb Walton,Thomson Reuters

Deb Walton,
Thomson Reuters

Complying with global regulations was a key area of importance for Thomson Reuters’ clients. Among the most important are Basel Committee on Banking Supervision regulations (BCBS 239) that require banks to improve risk management through better governance and more intelligent use of data. By next year, firms need to have made material progress towards meeting these goals.

Meanwhile, the world is more interconnected than ever. This can be both a benefit and a hindrance. The benefit stems from the fact that an immense amount of data is now available to financial services firms, giving them an opportunity to dig deeper into their businesses than ever before. But data becomes a hindrance if it can’t be leveraged. We helped clients turn big data into smart data by using a range of Thomson Reuters  tools, such as the Permanent Identifier (PermID).

Another focus in 2015 was know-your-customer (KYC). A misstep in this area—i.e. dealing with a third-party supplier with criminal ties—could lead to onerous fines and a major hit to a firm’s reputation. Offerings such as Worldcheck help clients avoid problems before they happen instead of reacting to them after the damage is done.

Finally, new ways of managing financial transactions continued to gain ground in the market in 2015. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are reinventing the way money is handled. Marketplace (peer-to-peer) lending transformed the way loans are made. And crowdfunding stepped up to the main stage, proving to be a key tool for entrepreneurs trying to develop innovative ideas, bring them to market—and offer investors a way to benefit.

What are your expectations for 2016?

All of these areas will continue to be important in 2016. Our focus will remain on close collaboration with customers to help them solve their challenges, streamline their operations, and take advantage of the growing network of partners offering tools on the Thomson Reuters platform. The partners group has been a real game-changer this year, and we expect it to play an even bigger role in 2016.