davos diary

Davos Diary: Friday


By Susan Phemister, Thomson Reuters

Friday dawned with a light dusting of snow in Davos. It’s been uncharacteristically lacking in snow this year, with pavement shining through the normally thickly packed snow. Davos roads are not salted (to preserve the crystal clear mountain water), so boots with treads and ideally ice crampons are de rigueur for any kind of walking.

Last night’s hot ticket Google Party featured Mary J. Blige in an dazzling performance, while the competing McKinsey Nightcap was also packed to the gills.

In addition to our hopping Reuters News activity, we must not forget that there was a full program running in the Congress Center that also included our executives. Jim Smith was a panelist on the “Designing Corruption out of the System” panel. Steve Adler was a group participant in the “Risk & Responsibility in a Hyper-Connected World”, while Rob Cox moderated “Money and Markets in a Hyper-Connected World”.

Additionally, David Craig published an wrote a post on this very blog titled, “What’s next in disruptive technology and innovation in financial services.”  Monique Villa also wrote a post on corruption and slavery.

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Davos diary: Thursday


By Susan Phemister, Thomson Reuters

Thursday at Reuters Davos exploded in a flurry of interviews on the show Davos Today. Goldie Hawn talked to Axel Threlfall about her foundation work. Jeremy Bennett, CEO of Nomura International, taped an interview, as did Christian Meissner of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Carlos Ghosn, the head of Renault-Nissan and Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard.

Shortly after our morning show wrapped, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, came by for the Global Markets Forum and an interview. Afterwards on the main Promenade, he joked that he loved our very visible Reuters ski jackets, trying one on while onlookers snapped away.

The day was still young however, when Greenpeace pulled up immediately in front of the Reuters building with a truck of red-jacketed protesters, realistic polar bear suited actors, and anti (Russian) Gazprom signs. The Greenpeace activists, protesting Russian oil extraction, poured red-colored bloody looking oil on the bears as they writhed horribly on the ground. Photographers and news crews poured onsite, snapping photos, bringing instant notoriety to the cause.

Barely had the polar bears packed and cleaned up when more news action happened back in the Reuters building. Ruth Porat, CFO of Morgan Stanley and arguably the most powerful woman on Wall Street, arrived for her interview with Breakingviews’ Rob Cox at the same time as Senator John McCain (R-AZ), causing a logjam of importance at the espresso machine.

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Davos diary: Opening day


By Susan Phemister, Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters executives and journalists descended upon Davos yesterday for the World Economic Forum, just as security barriers went up everywhere and busloads of Swiss guards arrived to police the place. I was able to take a special behind the scenes tour at the Congress Center  on my planning pass – even literally bumping into WEF boss Klaus Schwab. But last night, the incredible security wall came down and only registered delegates had access to the Center.

Two big themes at the World Economic Forum this year are health and environment.  All delegates can register for the Davos Health Challenge and receive a free (orange! corporate color!) Jawbone UP fitness device, while juice bars featuring multi-colored fruit drinks line the inside of the Congress Center.  Huge panels featuring the latest tweets ring the walls, with Reuters uber-twitterer Felix Salmon making the wall already.

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The day before Davos


By Susan Phemister, Thomson Reuters

Once a year, this ski resort town in Switzerland transforms itself from a chic but sleepy resort into the world’s hub of business, politics, and intellectual idea-swapping that is the World Economic Forum.

The advance teams have been trawling up the mountain since last week, staking claims on rented buildings and transforming them into mini-business lounges emblazoned with logos and window clings. Thomson Reuters takes over the Davos Library, removing all books in an assembly-line of Swiss labor and off-duty ski instructors and filling it chock a block with a TV studio, journalists, a planning team and meeting rooms. Bright orange banners advertising the daily Reuters show Davos Today blanket this traditional Swiss Haus, while spotlights  light the front and sides into an Orange Crush wash.

New this year is the preponderance of pop-up reception spaces mushrooming across the main street, the Promenade, in every possible prime real estate location. Thomson Reuters executives arrived today, preparing for a full four days of networking, meetings, talks and amazing evening receptions.

Stay tuned for more to come in the Davos Diary…

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Davos Diary: Thursday

Chris Perry

The latest dispatch from our anonymous on-site correspondent in Davos, Switzerland, for the 2013 World Economic Forum. Check out the rest of the series here

Reuters interviewed Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, directly in front of the Reuters Library this morning. No sooner had the cameras packed up than UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his posse walked by on their way to the Congress Center, while an armored van with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev exited in the opposite direction. Our prime location at the Davos Library ensures that everyone entering or exiting the Congress Center passes in front of Reuters.

Above, Global Sales & Marketing Managing Director Christopher Perry smiles as Reuters interviews Boris Johnson in the background. (more…)

Davos Diary: Wednesday

The latest dispatch from our anonymous on-site correspondent in Davos, Switzerland, for the 2013 World Economic Forum. Check out the rest of the series here

The World Economic Forum kicked into high gear today, with the Congress Center rocking with business meetings and programs all day, as well as the opening reception this evening. Now that dusk has fallen, the Reuters library is lit with orange spotlights, bathing the building in a soothing color reminiscent of an orange-and-cream ice cream bar.The Reuters library has been booming all day, starting with the 6 a.m. to  8 a.m. television show where Reuters TV journalist Axel Threfall interviewed an impressive series of government leaders and business and financial CEOs. Throughout the day staffers handed out Reuters magazine to everyone who passed by on the way to the Congress Center, and at sundown our executives gathered for an evening check in.

The town of Davos has been transformed into a warren of business offices, with companies such as RBS and Barclays renting entire storefronts as a meeting space and visibility center.

The view from the window of the Davos library,  which has been transformed into a Reuters TV studioOthers rent space in the Steigenberger Belvedere, but in all cases it’s business, business, business. Rumor has it some local shop owners pay their entire year’s rent on what some companies (not Thomson Reuters!) pay for one week.

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Davos Diary: Tuesday

Davos Today

The latest dispatch from our anonymous on-site correspondent in Davos, Switzerland, for the 2013 World Economic Forum. Check out the first post here

Tuesday, Jan. 22: Security in Davos has transformed itself overnight, with high security fencing cordoning off the Congress Center and passes needed for everything. Passes for cars to enter the security zone: AA means you can go in, no AA means you have to go around.  (more…)

Davos Diary: Monday

Here is the first dispatch from our anonymous on-site correspondent in Davos, Switzerland, for the 2013 World Economic Forum.

Arrived in Davos on a snowy weekend, with large luscious snowflakes falling. The number one thing I’ve been warned about is that the city of Davos does not salt their streets and sidewalks to preserve the pristine water, so I arrive with boots with treads, snow crampons and a bottle of ibuprofen in case I actually do fall. But never fear; a small army of storekeepers are sweeping in front of their stores, the municipal snow cleaner is plowing away and a small army of Swiss policemen have been pressed into auxiliary snow removal.   (more…)