FAME and Orbis for company identification
FAME, from Bureau van Dijk, provides information on all UK and Irish registered companies. It covers public (quoted) and private companies: over 2.8 million active companies and 4.2 inactive companies on 05 June 2012.
Orbis, also from Bureau van Dijk, provides information on very large companies worldwide. It covers public (quoted) and private companies: 260,563 total, including 62,135 publicly listed and 165,882 with detailed financials available on 21 June 2012. [For full definition of coverage: see Help -> Orbis User Guide -> Data details -> Coverage - Company size categories (we subscribe to Very large companies - VL). For latest numbers: see Help -> Coverage.]
Tips from our Bureau van Dijk representative (http://twitter.com/MBSLibrary/status/215054416955457536):
- The Help link (top right) gives access to the user guide, which has function and data definitions, a set of quick tour videos, tips of the day and what’s new.
- The spanner symbol indicates that you can modify the list format to include just the variables that you require and then export the results as a spreadsheet. You can also choose to have absolute rather than relative years.
- In the Directors / Managers / Contacts session of a company report, you can select an individual to get details of all their positions.
- In the shareholders and subsidiaries sections of a company report, you get the data on where a company fits within the overall corporate group. Selecting Report format -> Ownership report gives this in text and an ownership structure diagram.
- The web interfaces of FAME and Orbis are very similar so once you know one you can easily use them both.
The Orbis screenshot above shows results from a search for scheduled airlines worldwide. The options to change the columns displayed are highlighted, e.g. the operating revunue for 2010 has been added. The highlighted result is for the company Virgin Atlantic Airlines Limited which is a subsidiary of Virgin Group Holdings Limited – both private companies.
A key feature of FAME and Orbis is that they cover both public (quoted) and private companies. Their target market is to help in the identification of companies who might be your customer, supplier, or even employer.
If you are researching public (quoted) companies then you should also consider the databases that cover these companies from a financial market perspective, e.g. Bloomberg, Datastream, Thomson Research, Thomson One Banker. (See previous post Company Financial Analysis.)