More Data (Insider Affiliations and Peer Data)

As I have noted before – when we process compensation data (as well as insider trading, beneficial ownership, director votes and other data that includes people we add the PERSON-CIK and SEC-NAME of the people that are the subject or are included in the data table. We do this so you can link people across time and entities.

However, I had some discussions with clients recently and they made a critical observation – this data would be difficult for them to create because to actually capture all companies a person is affiliated with they would have to dump all of our data and then organize it. Thus we decided to create a new data artifact. We are going to create an affiliation table that lists all other SEC registrants that each officer and director of a public company is affiliated with.

For example consider Roxanne Austin who is a director at a number of public companies. If you look at this summary of Ms. Austin’s SEC filings you can see that she has a reporting obligation because of her service on the boards of five registrants.

While her other directorships are described in her biographical information in the various proxy statements each of the biography paragraphs are formatted differently and there is some variation in the form of the various companies so this data is difficult to parse and convert to a useful form. Here is her biography from the DEF 14A of Abbot Laboratories. It mentions all of the companies listed above but it takes significant programming to link here to those companies. While the language is pretty clear (Ms. Austin currently serves on the . . .) this is described differently in other filings.

We have this data because we assign the PERSON-CIK to each director of a public company – even if they do not have a filing obligation (ownership interest) in the filer. We have wanted to organize this data for some time but have struggled with sorting out exactly how to deliver it in a way that is useful. Our initial effort is going to standardize this by calendar year. Clearly one of the challenges is that the fiscal year of these companies can vary and board service or employment can start or finish at any time. We decided that the best way to organize this is by issuer CIK and CALENDAR YEAR. Here is an image of what the data would look like after sorting it by PERSON-CIK. (I’ve left some columns out of this image).

This data should be available in the next two weeks. More details on how to access it will be posted once it is live.

We have been working on PEER data for a really long time. It has been a real challenge. We are finally making some progress, enough to describe it – not quite enough to set a date. This and Non-GAAP earnings reconciliations are some of the most frequently requested data objects. A number of our clients have or are using our tools to extract and normalize the Non-GAAP earnings reconciliations but the peer data is more complicated. Here is an image of the peer group listing for Abbott Laboratories from their 2018 proxy filing.

We faced two major challenges trying to identify this data and normalize it. One is that there is no indication inside the table (and that data is in a table) that these are peer companies. The second challenge is that the name is not very useful in the form that is reported in the table. We’ve finally developed some processes to help collect this data systematically. We are converting it into a form that will allow you to access the CIK of each peer.

I will post an update on this later.