What it does: Supplies valuable financial information
Staff stats: 19,000 employees in 192 locations across the globe
The good bits: Overseas postings
The not so good bits: Some long hours
The Bloomberg L.P. story
In 1981, Michael Bloomberg, a partner at Salomon Brothers, found himself out of a job following the sale of his Wall Street investment bank to a large corporation. Bloomberg, who studied electrical engineering before doing an MBA at Harvard, resolved to launch a business that used the computer technology then starting to become common to deliver useful business information quickly and efficiently.
In 1982, Merrill Lynch had signed on as Bloomberg’s first customer. Shortly thereafter, Bloomberg Terminals (i.e. a computer with a software system providing real-time market data) started popping up in financial institutions all over the world. As of late 2016, there were estimated to be 325,000 Bloomberg Terminal subscribers across the globe, all paying US$20,000 - $25,000 per terminal, per year. With all the cash generated by the terminals, Bloomberg has been able to develop ancillary product lines, such as Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Tradebook (a trading platform), as well as acquire radio stations, business magazines and other data companies.
Bloomberg has long made the list of one of the top 10 wealthiest people in the US and one of the top 20 richest individuals in the world. After taking a sabbatical to serve as Mayor of New York, Bloomberg resumed his position as President and CEO of Bloomberg L.P. in late 2014.
Nowadays, Bloomberg L.P., which remains a private company, describes itself as a financial software, data and media company that “connects influential decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas”. Bloomberg generates around US$9 billion a year and is believed to enjoy a 40 per cent profit margin.
Bloomberg believes a “diverse workforce and open culture” are “essential to innovation and the key to our success”. It invests significant time and energy in attracting and developing talent from diverse backgrounds. It does this through initiatives such promoting ‘Bloomberg Communities’ for staff who are disabled, Asian, black, Latino, LGBT, veterans, female or parents. Bloomberg also partners with external organisations to improve its performance in relation to eliminating unconscious bias and creating a welcoming work environment for staff who are disabled, LGBT or new parents.
Michael Bloomberg has long been on the world’s most enthusiastic philanthropists. Bloomberg Philanthropies in now the vehicle through which he and his company dispense money to worthy causes and organisations. It focuses on five areas: public health; arts and culture; the environment; education and government innovation. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies gave away US$600 million.
The recruitment process
Bloomberg LP is a large organisation and grads can find themselves working in a range of different areas. These include: ‘Corporate Functions’; ‘Sales and Analytics’; ‘Global Data’; Engineering or ‘Intelligence Research’. Bloomberg L.P. has internship programs in these areas. As a general rule, to be considered for an internship or grad position you’ll need to be studying for or have completed an undergraduate degree in Economics, Finance or Social Sciences. You should also have a strong interest in financial markets. You’ll be expected to demonstrate, ideally with reference to previous work experience, impressive critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.
Bloomberg L.P.’s Australian office is currently particularly interested in finding candidates for its Sales and Analytics Rotation Program. This involves being sent to work in the Bloomberg Analytics department in the London office. After a year or two there, you’ll move to the Sydney office. There you will join a team of experienced relationship managers who “partner with top decision makers in the worlds of business, finance and government”.
Aside from getting an overseas posting right off the bat, successful candidates receive comprehensive training, especially in relation to the operation of financial markets and the capabilities of Bloomberg Terminals. After having their relationship management and objection-handling skills honed to perfection, those in the program can choose to specialise in one of four main asset classes: Fixed Income; Equity; Foreign Exchange or Commodities. Those who’ve completed the program are given plenty of responsibility and autonomy to both manage existing clients and explore new business opportunities.
To apply, you’ll need to go to the company’s website and create a profile. You can then expect to do a 30-minute phone interview. If that goes well, you’ll proceed to one or more technically focused panel interviews on site followed by a final interview with somebody from the HR department.
Bloomberg L.P. is an extremely profitable business that rewards its employees with attractive packages. While you won’t start on six figures, it shouldn’t take long to reach that level if you perform well.
Bloomberg University provides staff with user-friendly, quality training in everything from financial market analysis, to leadership skills, to coding. Staff have access to subsidised health, dental and vision coverage, as well as disability and life insurance. They also get free or discounted entry to many of the world’s leading cultural institutions and plentiful free food in the office kitchen.
Bloomberg L.P. uses its considerable resources to invest heavily in two things – technology and its staff. You’ll be expected to work hard but if you do you’ll receive plenty of training and career opportunities. Not to mention the opportunity to work in global financial centres such as London, New York and Shanghai.
The vibe of the place
Bloomberg L. P. aims to create a meritocratic, non-hierarchical culture. All staff, including Michael Bloomberg, sit at identical white desks equipped with a Bloomberg terminal.
From the Employer:
"Bloomberg connects influential decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas.
Our strength—quickly and accurately delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology—is at the core of everything we do. With over 15,500 employees in 192 locations, we deliver business and financial information, news and insight around the world.
The transparency Bloomberg brings to the financial markets is integral to our culture, our offices and our interactions with one another. We’re measured by the quality of our contributions, not by a title. We don’t need an open-door policy. We sit in open work spaces, shoulder-to-shoulder. And, when we’re not hard at work, we’re working hard to make a difference in the communities where we live and work.
At Bloomberg, you will have the opportunity to go above and beyond, take risks and be part of an organization that is entering new markets, launching new ventures and pushing the boundaries. Our ever-expanding technology, data, news and multimedia services foster innovation and empower clients—and offer nearly limitless opportunities for career growth."