The nerve centre of the financial world

Finbarr Bermingham visits Bloomberg's sparkling London offices to find out how it all works

"Ding dong." For the third time in our conversation, Beatrice May feels compelled to apologise for the interruption. She's sitting on the fixed income desk - of which she is team leader - in Bloomberg's global data department. It's abuzz. The incessant alarms, bells and sirens tell the team when a new bond has been issued and as we chat, Beatrice is simultaneously ensuring that one of her team is breaking the news to the world. But what might sound like pandemonium is, in reality, anything but. Bloomberg has, over thirty years, become the world's premier financial data provider, through diligence, transparency and reliability. Its name is as synonymous with breaking stories and publishing data as its brand is iconic, and the force of both its reputation and its personality are inescapable from the moment you enter its spectacular London offices.

Grand designs

Designed by Norman Foster (the architect responsible for the Millennium Bridge, the Gherkin and Wembley Stadium), the Finsbury Square building is company founder (and current mayor of New York City) Michael Bloomberg's vision realised. It provides his employees with an environment that stimulates them to source, document and break financial data around the clock. It's decked out in vibrant blues, greens and reds, with the distinctive company logo embossed on clean white surfaces everywhere. The building is host to the second largest set of aquaria in Europe, with 600 kaleidoscopic sea fish swimming in tanks built into the walls, tended to by three staff members of their own. The idea came directly from Michael Bloomberg himself, who maintains that his best ideas came to him while gazing at fishbowls. Upon entering, you're greeted by the Bloomberg pantry: a smorgasbord of soups and nuts, coffees and juices, available free to staff, 24/7. Determined to make the most of the great British weather, a section of the glass roof runs is curved, so the rain flows down it like a waterfall. It's more like an architectural showroom than an office in London's financial district.

"It's a great place to work," declares Beatrice, as another siren sounds in the background, "- there's a lot of action!" She's responsible for sourcing transparent and impartial information on fixed income securities (investments which provides a fixed periodic return, such as bonds), processing the information and putting it out to the market. For the most part, her team releases information on government and corporate bonds via the Bloomberg terminal (for more information, see below). Her sources are mostly primary - those directly involved in transactions, like treasuries and banks. Bloomberg's news comes straight from the horse's mouth. "The information we release is known as "static data""