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Corporate Governance data

Here at Manchester students are busy gathering data for their Masters dissertations – one area causing a few queries is corporate governance so this post will review sources. In addition, we will focus on corporate governance data for Brazil and an example emerging market.

The commercial database providers highlight environmental, social and governance (ESG) data as their customers (professional investors) often have an interest in corporate governance within this wider context. We therefore build on the July 2013 post Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data.

Bloomberg - Financial Analysis - Governance data (click to expand)

Bloomberg – Financial Analysis – Governance data (click to expand)

Bloomberg Professional provides data through the ESG tab in FA (Financial Analysis) – e.g. BRFS3 BS Equity FA GO – this has sub-tabs (ESG) overview, environmental, social, governance, ESG ratios and CDP (carbon disclosure project). The screenshot shows the governance sub-tab for the Brazilian firm BRF SA.

Bloomberg provides data on company directors, including pay, through the MGMT (Management) function.

Bloomberg industries has a global corporate governance section (BI CGOV) that highlights investment trends, for example how  to create an exclusion list of companies involved in the arms trade.

Bloomberg also provides information about their environmental, social and governance data through the function ESG. This includes detail of the geographic coverage of ESG data. On 30 April 2014 this was 20.8% globally (based on 10,852 companies), with 25.9% (128 companies) for Brazil.

Thomson Reuters Datastream corporate governance variables appear under the heading ESG – ASSET4 in the Datastream Navigator. Within Asset4  the main sections are corporate governance (Datastream datatypes start CG) social (SO), environmental (EN), and economic (EC).

Datastream ASSET4 coverage for Brazil (click to expand)

Datastream ASSET4 coverage for Brazil (click to expand)

For information about the ESG coverage in Datastream you can download the “ASSET4 on Datastream – Company Level template” – just select the Sample Sheets option on the Datastream Excel add-in and to download this template. You can also access this useful Datastream sample sheet from the Thomson Reuters Datastream Extranet (see  post Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data for more details)

The tab for ASSET4 Universe indicates a total over 4400 companies covered, with following for the BRIC emerging markets –

  • Brazil 84
  • Russia 34
  • India 80
  • China 82

This confirms that there is limited ESG data available for emerging markets. Further investigation is needed to identify the level of corporate governance data available. Since most of this data is optional rather than mandatory it will be influenced by reports companies have published that can vary between countries.

Checking historical data availability

A quick check – a Datastream time-series request of the (current)  Brazilian Bovespa index (LBRBOVES) for datatype (variable) Board Size (CGBSDP060) yearly 2004 to 2013. This gives 5 errors, indicating 5 of the 71 companies in the Bovespa index are not in ASSET4. Only 2 (Petrobras PN and Pertobras ON) have data for all 10 years – most have data for 2010, 2011 and 2012 but only about half for 2009 decreasing to 2 in 2006.

The Brazil Bovespa is the benchmark equity index for Brazil so the availability of corporate governance data for Brazillian companies as a whole will be no better, and probably significantly worse.

Double-checking with Bloomberg Professional Excel add-in for all (current) Bovespa index companies, Board Size, 2004 to 2013 confirms the limited amount of historical data available.

An initial investigation strongly suggests that there is limited corporate governance data available for Brazil, particularly in terms of historical data. This suggests that there is not a big demand among professional investors for historic corporate governance data on emerging market companies.

 Specialist sources

WRDS-iconOn WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services) there is Compustat Execucomp for executive compensation, and Risk Metrics for corporate governance data. However, these will only cover US companies.

BoardEx – is an excellent database for searching current board memberships, and browsing links between directors. It is however more limited in its options for searching and downloading historical board data.

Robert Goddard has a Corporate Law and Governance blog that also includes links to a wide variety of related material from UK Corporate Governance reports to selected journals and research publications.

 

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