Hispanic Business Article
Maria Diaz, Associate General Counsel, Thomson Reuters
Celebrating twenty years at Thomson Reuters, Maria Diaz reflects on the company’s successes and why she feels like she's just getting started
By Alison Ver Halen, Hispanic Executive
The last time Hispanic Executive spoke with Maria Diaz in 2014, she was the senior vice president and principal legal counsel at Thomson Reuters. She has since been promoted and now has a great deal more responsibility for the global information giant. Now the associate general counsel at Thomson Reuters, Diaz is quick to note the ways in which the company is changing and how she contributes to the strategy.
“The company is focusing on operating as one enterprise, meanwhile, my role is evolving, and my responsibilities are expanding,” Diaz says.
As a member of an in-house legal team, there are certain responsibilities Diaz shares with all the other members of her team, including providing support for commercial operations, acquisitions, and forging strategic alliances. However, as associate general counsel, Diaz has to be more business-focused.
“More recently, I have taken on a broader role and other responsibilities in connection with our overall strategy of the business operating as an enterprise rather than a company with separate portfolios,” Diaz says.
Previously, Thomson Reuters operated as four separate and distinct portfolio companies. It recently divested one of those businesses and is taking an integrated approach to operate as a cohesive enterprise, rather than what felt like three different companies. “In connection with that, I have been more involved in working on issues on an enterprise level, especially over the past few months,” Diaz says.
The focus on operating the various businesses as one enterprise is becoming one of the highest priorities for Diaz and her team. In addition, data security across the enterprise is of the utmost importance to the company and its clients.
“We’ve been working to enhance security and also to make sure that we are establishing uniform policies across the organization,” Diaz says. “We’ve also been working towards consistency in our commercial policies while streamlining our contracts.”
In the past, the various Thomson Reuters businesses have used different contracts to cover different products, but Diaz and her team are working to change that.
“We’ve been working towards one contract that will cover all of our businesses and take into account the different needs that we have,” Diaz says. “We are anticipating those issues that are always pain points in a negotiation, and proposing solutions across the board as an enterprise that can make contracting easier, faster, and more consistent.”
Adapting to a new role and new responsibilities is par for the course for employees of Thomson Reuters and it’s one of Diaz’s favorite parts of her job. Financial markets are constantly evolving, so companies that operate in those markets have to keep up.
“We are anticipating those issues that are always pain points in a negotiation, and are proposing solutions across the board as an enterprise that can make contracting easier, faster, and more consistent.”
“I just celebrated my twentieth anniversary with Thomson Reuters, and I honestly don’t feel like I have worked for one company for twenty years,” Diaz says. “The industry is very dynamic, so I’m constantly learning and being challenged.”
The one constant over those twenty years has been the legal team Diaz works with, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “We have a very cohesive, talented legal department, and that has been the case from the time I joined,” Diaz says. “I really appreciate my colleagues, how well we work together, and how well we get along.”
While she’s helping Thomson Reuters move forward, Diaz is also using her past as inspiration to help new citizens move forward with their lives.
“An immigrant myself, I believe it’s really important for those of us who are attorneys to volunteer our time. It’s important for our country and I look forward to doing that,” Diaz says. “I’ve always been interested in immigration issues, and I am currently working on my first pro bono immigration case.”
Diaz, with a passion for the importance of education and equal opportunity, is constantly seeking ways in which she can give back to her community.
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