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Back to Basics How to get a basic picture of a company and its operations.

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Presentation on theme: "Back to Basics How to get a basic picture of a company and its operations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Back to Basics How to get a basic picture of a company and its operations

2 What? Main business Where operating? Projects, industry and offices Who owns it? Directors; major shareholders Company accounts and annual turnover Subsidiaries and corporate structure

3 Sources The company's website: Annual Reports; Company Accounts; CSR Reports; Press Releases Companies House: Annual Reports; Company Accounts Business databases – e.g. access at the British Library (Business and IP Centre reference desk for help with using them): The FT, industry publications, other newspapers NGOs, campaign groups, advocacy groups, trade unions, labour rights organisations, community groups, etc Watchers: Corporate Watch; Corporate Europe Observatory; Spin Watch; Bureau of Investigative Journalism, etc Freedom of Information Requests – and existing requests at What Do They KnowWhat Do They Know Hansards; Parliamentary Committee reports; They Work For YouThey Work For You

4 The Annual Report If available, download it from the company’s website And the Annual Return from Companies House:

5 What’s inside? A lot of PR… But also: – Who the directors are (and their remuneration; other interests) – Registered office address – An idea of corporate structure; subsidiaries; – Picture of the financial performance – Principle business activities; revenue – Shareholders – Vague ideas of future plans – Sometimes political donations (e.g. Tesco’s)

6 Companies House Find Information -> WebCHeck -> search by company name or company number – (Do a bit of research on this beforehand) Check date of incorporation -> compare addresses -> company type -> nature of business – E.g. Edelman (addresses) Order information -> ‘Include Allotment of Shares’ ->

7 Which Atos is Atos? The mystery of Atos Healthcare; Examining the paper trail via Companies House…

8 Subsidiaries and Company Structure Atos SE (registered in France) Atos UK IT Holdings Ltd Atos UK IT Ltd Atos Ltd Atos IT Services UK Ltd Atos IT Services Ltd Atos Consulting Ltd

9 But… Atos UK IT Holdings claims Atos SE as its parent – but: When you look at shareholding of Atos UK IT Holdings Ltd = see that fully owned by ATOS International BV – (a quick google search reveals this to be a company registered in the Netherlands…)google search

10 Who Owns Whom For company structure // parent-subsidiary relations = Who Owns Whom: (need to access from a library with subscription) A little more on shareholders… Companies are requires to include a full list of shareholders in their first annual return following incorporation, and every 3 rd annual return after that; intervening years report changes to shareholder information A good place to find out about institutional investors can be Yahoo Finance: Or FT company profiles: profile?s=ATO:PAR profile?s=ATO:PAR

11 Disqualified Directors… A neat service from Companies House:

12 The Company Accounts From Companies House Go to Corporate Watch workshop: 12noon - 5pm on 26 th October -

13 Hansards Search by date, MP, or parliamentary committee To search Commons Hansards via google: inurl:cmhansrd [search term] Or search on the They Work For You websiteThey Work For You – Example: Atos government contract: /cmhansrd/cm130611/text/130611w0003.htm /cmhansrd/cm130611/text/130611w0003.htm Sign up for email alertsemail alerts

14 Political Influence Lords and Commons registers of members interests: share ownership; paid consultancy; chairmen; etc – Example: Lord Boyce Atos Origin: offices/standards-and-interests/register-of-lords- interests/?letter=B offices/standards-and-interests/register-of-lords- interests/?letter=B – Example Baroness Noakes RBS director: offices/standards-and-interests/register-of-lords- interests/?letter=N offices/standards-and-interests/register-of-lords- interests/?letter=N – Example: nhs-healthcare-private/ nhs-healthcare-private/

15 What are they up to? Industry magazines, trade journals Financial Times search Watchers; NGOs; community groups; trade unions; etc Ask them! Corporate Watch’s Dear CorporationDear Corporation

16 Industry Journals; Databases The British Library is an invaluable resource Business and IP centre – Access to business databases: busin.html busin.html – Access to industry and trade publications – Librarians who can help with using them – Industry guides: de.pdf de.pdf

17 Useful links FT Lexicon: Investopedia: Google Alerts: Corporate Watch DIY Research Guide – update coming soon

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