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Ownership data from Capital IQ

From the research enquiries of students gathering data for their dissertations we know that data on company ownership can be difficult. Recent investigations suggest that Capital IQ from Standard and Poors (S&P), though not perfect, may be a good choice for many research projects.

The usual way to use Capital IQ is to use a screen to select the companies of interest, then add some additional variables, and finally download the results as an Excel file.

The screenshot below shows a company screen with two criteria:

  1. Companies with their primary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE)
  2. Companies with a market capitalisation (aka market value) greater than 1,000 million UK £s on 31 December 2013
Capital IQ company screening (click to expand)

Capital IQ company screening (click to expand)

This gives a total of 268 companies – since this is a test we want to be well within the Capital IQ download limit.

Next use the Customize Display Columns tab to add extra information to the results.

There is a good selection of variables that can be selected from the ownership section. For this test we choose:

  • CEO – Number of shares owned [Latest Quarter – 2]
  • CEO – Value owned [Latest Quarter – 2]

The only options for historical data are in terms of latest quarter – the oldest being latest quarter – 40. Selecting the CEO value owned column the results can be reordered to show which CEO’s of large LSE listed companies have the most wealth in their company’s shares.

Capital IQ ownership results (click to expand)

Capital IQ ownership results (click to expand)

Downloading the results is just a question of selecting Excel and go in the export section just below the screening results header, and waiting while Capital IQ formats the results and returns a download link.

The selection of Latest Quarter – 2 was an attempt to choose the Q4 2013. However, advice from the Capital IQ customer help desk suggest that this will give Q3 2013. The ownership data is updated when the company files the relevant data, usually 4-6 weeks after the end of a quarter. On 16 July we are just in Q3 but the Q2 data will not be available yet. This makes the Latest Quarter Q1 2014, and so Latest Quarter – 2 is Q3 2013.


There is company ownership information available in other databases, but they do not handle the combination of a list of companies and historical data as easily as Capital IQ

  • Thomson Reuters 13F data from WRDS (only data for  US companies)
  • Bloomberg – good for the ownership of one company
  • Thomson One.com –  detailed ownership for worldwide companies but with restrictions on the number of companies that can be investigated at one time, and results often need significant reformatting.
  • Fame, for UK and Irish companies, and Amadeus, for large Eur0pean companies, – can work with lists of companies but variables restricted to the owners holding the most shares.

Company ownership information may only be available for the last few years, or if historical information is available then it may be restricted to the largest shareholders.

Acknowledgements are due to Phil Reed and Xia Hong who explained how to use Capital IQ and noticed to availability of ownership data.

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