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Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK
Billionaire eyes Big Apple
Michael Bloomberg: Playing down ultra-rich image
By New York Correspondent Jane Standley

US billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg has announced in a television advert that he is to run for the post of mayor of New York.

My experience has taught me how to get things done, bring people together

Michael Bloomberg
Looking casual in an open-necked blue shirt, Mr Bloomberg was clearly trying to play down his ultra-rich businessman image and appeal to poorer ordinary voters.

His campaign is partly being pitched at New York's large Spanish-speaking community for primaries in September and a full election in November.

But in his advertisement, Mr Bloomberg also made much of his strong management track record.

Giuliani support

"My experience has taught me how to get things done, bring people together, solve problems, be honest, shoot straight, hold myself accountable for results," he said.

Rudolph Giuliani: Banned from third term
The 59-year-old divorced father of two switched his affiliation to the Republicans last year after being a life-long Democrat, as there are already four Democratic candidates for mayor.

Republican incumbent Rudolph Giuliani - who cannot run for a third term - has lent his support to the Bloomberg campaign, and the new candidate has returned the praise, saying a strong mayor at City Hall has made a big difference to New York.

But some observers say that creating a big company, like Michael Bloomberg's, is very different to managing the cumbersome bureaucracy which is New York City's administration.

Media empire

There are also concerns that he could play to Wall Street interests too much, even though he has pledged to finance his own campaign and if elected, to work for a nominal $1-a-year salary.

Michael Bloomberg
CEO and founder of Bloomberg LP
Listed as one of the 400 richest men in US with an estimated fortune of $4bn
Employs 7,000 people
Mr Bloomberg has turned the company he founded 20 years ago, Bloomberg LP, into a financial media empire.

At its core is a small rented terminal known as a Bloomberg which allows users to check real-time prices for almost any type of security, buy and sell shares or listen to audio, including speeches by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan.

The terminal has become a fixture in central banks as well as commercial banks, brokerage houses and many media outlets.

The 160,000 terminals in 100 countries bring in $2.4bn a year to the privately-held firm.

Mr Bloomberg also has a multi-lingual television news service in the United States and Europe, a radio news service and an internet-based news service at accessed 175 million times monthly.

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See also:

08 Jul 99 | Americas
Profile: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
27 Apr 00 | Americas
Giuliani diagnosed with cancer
15 Sep 00 | Americas
Giuliani shrugs off prostate op
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