Re Michael Bloomberg's wealth: In 1981, Salomon Brothers was acquired, and Michael Bloomberg, a general partner, was given a $10 million partnership settlement. Bloomberg, having designed in-house computerized financial systems for Salomon, used his $10 million severance check to start Innovative Market Systems (IMS). Bloomberg developed and built his own computerized system to provide real-time market data, financial calculations and other financial analytics to Wall Street firms. In 1983, Merrill Lynch invested $30 million in IMS to help finance the development of "the Bloomberg" terminal computer system and by 1984, IMS was selling machines to all of Merrill Lynch's clients.
In 1986, the company was renamed Bloomberg L.P., and 5,000 terminals had been installed in subscribers' offices . Within a few years, ancillary products including Bloomberg Tradebook (a trading platform), the Bloomberg Messaging Service, and the Bloomberg newswire were launched. Bloomberg launched its news services division in 1990. Bloomberg.com was first established on September 29, 1993 as a financial portal with information on markets, currency conversion, news and events, and Bloomberg Terminal subscriptions.
In late 1996, Bloomberg bought back one-third of Merrill Lynch's 30 percent stake in the company for $200 million, increasing the company's market value to $2 billion. In 2008, facing losses during the financial crisis, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell its remaining 20 percent stake in the company back to Bloomberg, Inc., the trust that manages Michael Bloomberg's assets, for a reported $4.43 billion. After the sale, Bloomberg L.P. was valued at approximately $22.5 billion.
Bloomberg L.P. has remained a private company since its founding; the majority of which is owned by Michael Bloomberg. In 2009, Bloomberg L.P. services accounted for a third of the $16 billion global financial data market. At this time, the company had sold 315,000 terminals worldwide. Moreover, the company brought in nearly $7 billion in annual revenue, with 85 percent coming from terminal sales. In 2010, Bloomberg L.P.'s market share stood at 30.3 percent, compared with 25.1 percent in 2005. Market value 1983 $100 million- 1996 $2 billion (CAGR 26%); 1996 $2 billion- 2008 $22.5 billion (CAGR 22.3) Bloomberg's share 88%. Because Bloomberg L.P. is privately owned, financials are not public. Thomson Reuters a similar company had a profit of $2.070 billion on revenue of $13.27 billion.(15.6%) In 2012 Bloomberg L.P. had revenue of $7.92 billion, similar profit margin would yield $1.24 billion.(side note: Michael Bloomberg's net worth was over $5 billion when he became mayor of NYC not $1 billion.)