A world of company information
ORBIS: A world of company information
ORBIS is a comprehensive database of companies around the world. It contains information combined from
nearly 100 sources which is filtered into various standard report formats to facilitate global searching and
company comparisons. In April 2007 ORBIS contained information on over 50 million companies. Coverage is
constantly increasing in terms of depth of data as well as a growing number of countries.
ORBIS has sections of superlative coverage including listed companies worldwide, public and private banks
and insurance companies plus private European companies as well as a unique ownership database. The
following features combine to make ORBIS an accurate and coherent global company information resource.
Combined data expertise Ownership data
BvDEP sources data from specialist information BvDEP’s ownership database is a complete source
providers (IPs) each an expert in its discipline(s) or of approximately 20 million owner and subsidiary
region(s), to ensure that ORBIS contains the best links. BvDEP supplements the ownership data
available combination of data. In addition to the provided by the IPs and has a specialist team
descriptive information and financials, ORBIS working solely on this resource.
contains further information such as news, annual
reports, ownership and M&A data. The information is collected from a variety of
additional sources including: Official registers
Workable global standardised reports with links (including SEC filings and stock exchanges), annual
to "as reported" data reports, private correspondence and telephone
ORBIS includes standardised reports that have research, company websites and newswires. It
been created to best reflect organisation types and aims to convey the following about a company:
global accountancy practices. The reports are a
practical balance between detail and • its independence in relation to its shareholders,
standardisation that facilitate global searching and • its direct and indirect shareholders with their
analysis - without compromise. Three basic percentage of ownership,
templates are included: industrial companies, • its ultimate owner (if any), according to the
banks and insurance companies. These allow for user's definition,
the various major differences in accounts in these • its direct and indirect subsidiaries with their
organisation types. Users can access various levels percentage of ownership and status, with even
of detail of standardised accounts with up to 10 very small links between two entities indicated.
years of history. They can also access more specific
reports1 that originate on BvDEP's region or Flexible access
organisation-specific products (such as ORBIS is available with two access options that can
BankScope) which often contain "as reported" be combined for added flexibility. Access is pre-
data. determined by password.
Viable global searching 1. Unlimited access
The standardised reports mean that users can Unlimited access to a choice of size-defined
search across the database using a consistent set of modules.
criteria. Users can choose from over a hundred
search items that can be combined to help narrow The modules are:
down searches very specifically. Industry codes • Top 150,000 companies,
have been allocated and cross-referenced for • Top 750,000 companies,
intelligent searching by activity. Users can search
• Top 5 million companies,
on actual financials, growth rates or estimates
when figures are unavailable. Options are offered • All companies.
to enable users to determine whether companies
should be included in searches if they publish 2. Pay-per-view
incomplete accounts due to filing regulations. Credits can be used to access reports - the
various reports use different numbers of credits
Impressive coverage of private companies depending on the level of detail they contain.
At the time of going to press ORBIS contained Credits are not used for searching and accounts
information on approximately 45,000 listed are easily set up in advance.
companies around the world. Over 99% of the
companies available on ORBIS are private companies. These two access modes can be combined for a
Private company information is more difficult to cost-effective, flexible solution that provides
obtain and the legal obligations to file accounts vary unlimited access to data required on a regular
widely from country to country. If full financial basis, and credits to access information
information is not available, ORBIS offers reports with occasionally.
varying amounts of financial detail and estimates.
1Such access requires available credits in a user's account or
a subscription to the relevant product(s).
A world of company information
The reports and an overview of the information they contain:
The information is presented in a standard format which comprises 25 data sections with
various default reports, with up to 10 years of history, and the option to customise.
The data sections include2: • A news service brings together stories
and headlines from various high profile
• General contact information and sources such as Reuters, the Financial
overview Times newspaper and Newswires,
ZEPHYR and Dow Jones Newswires. The
• Industry/activities including primary and stories are archived for up to 2 years
secondary codes in several local and (depending on source) and updated
international classifications plus trade every 15 minutes
• Industry research from Datamonitor,
• Overview - the largest companies also including company profiles with a SWOT
have a section containing a detailed analysis
history and overview of the companies’
activities • Standard peer group report which
automatically compares the subject
• Financial profile - the financials are in company to its peers
specific formats for corporates, banks
and insurance companies: Listed companies have the
ä Balance sheet following additional sections:
ä P&L account • Description and history
ä Ratios (including user-defined ratios)
• Segment data
• Board members and officers • Cash flow
• Auditors and advisors • More detailed accounts
• Mergers and acquisitions relating to the • Stock data from Fininfo including
company or one of its divisions security and price details, current stock
• Ownership information - this unique data data, annual stock data, current stock
set is supplemented by BvDEP and lists: valuation, monthly pricing series
ä Shareholders with their • Reports from the chairman, directors and
percentage of interest auditors plus the future outlook
ä Shareholdings and subsidiaries for • Full colour scanned annual, interim and
both public and private companies quarterly reports from Global Reports.
These are also available for many
ä Direct and indirect ownership
ä Ultimate owner
ä Independence indicator
An illustrative list of companies with the same ultimate owner as the subject company.
Searching and analysis
The search criteria are presented in an easy-to-use format with the choice between a quick
multi-step search screen and an expert format. The expert searching offers an abundance
of search critieria, Boolean alternatives, times series options and other flexible
functionality to give precise results for specific searches.
The ORBIS database is also available under
BvDEP's MINT interface, which is designed
specifically for desk-top, end-user access.
2Not all sections are complete for all companies due to country-specific legal restrictions
Working with the information:
ORBIS can be used to search for corporates,
banks and insurance companies around the
world in one easy step. Subscriptions to
other products published by BvDEP can be
supplemented with credits for ad hoc use.
The results of searches can easily be
downloaded to all popular formats. The
graphs can be saved for use in reports and
Each financial item, balance sheet, profit
and loss account, ownership structure, peer
and statistical analysis can be illustrated
All the subsidiary and holding reports are
dynamically linked so they can be moved
between quickly and easily. An
organisation's structure can be illustrated in
a tree diagram which can be navigated to
access other diagrams.
An alert service notifies users of any changes
to their chosen companies by e-mail. The
service can be tailored to alert users to
various changes including: involvement in an
M&A deal or rumour, the addition of news or
as a company's report is updated. Groups of
companies that fulfil chosen criteria can also
be monitored and users notified when the
companies that comply with their criteria
ORBIS includes various flexible analysis
options including statistical and peer User-defined variables
analyses that help convey a clear In addition to the many default ratios
understanding of groups of companies included in ORBIS users can create their
around the world. Additionally, the own that match in-house methods. These
segmentation option allows the creation of a can be used for searching for companies as
matrix that displays a group of companies well as in the analysis functions.
broken down by two variables of choice.
For example, high growth companies can be
analysed by industry and country to help
identify patterns. This can also be viewed