Private Company Research Part II: Corporate Affiliations

Continuing with our search for private company information, in this post we highlight another database that you can use to find private company information. Take a look at our previous post on researching private companies for a good place to find private company financials.

corporate-affiliationsr-logoCorporate Affiliations shows the corporate structure of more than 1 million public and private companies worldwide, with subsidiary listings and corporate linkage. Some important features of this database are:


Corporate Hierarchy

Corporate hierarchy shows the relationships among parents and subsidiaries. To find this information, search by company name. After selecting the company of interest, click on “Hierarchy” found in the left-hand menu. The screen below shows part of the corporate hierarchy of Bain Capital.

Corp Affiliation Bain Cap

Company Executives

Use this database to find detailed lists of executives, their titles and biographies. For example, you can search and retrieve executives worldwide who are Wharton graduates (there are more than 1,200). The screen below is a partial list of Wharton graduates who are officers in Chinese companies. Continue reading

In the MOOC: Changing the way Universities do Business

MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) have the potential to alter the education delivery system.  These open-learning platforms are rapidly changing the higher education landscape, especially with the support and growing participation from academic institutions. The courses offered through MOOCs are free and available to anyone with an Internet connection. The University of Pennsylvania is currently listing 20 courses on the Coursera platform. These include business related courses like Principles of Microeconomics, as well as courses in design, literature, and healthcare, to name a few.

Three open learning platforms known for their high-quality content are:

coursera-logo-500x300Coursera describes itself as a “social entrepreneurship” company and is currently partnering with 62 universities to provide free, online college-level courses. Their vision is to make education more accessible beyond the traditional classroom. Coursera offers an extensive course catalog that is continually growing. Courses are grouped into categories like Business & Management, Chemistry, Law, and Social Sciences. Course offerings in five different languages are also represented. Take a look here to see if your favorite Penn professors are offering any upcoming courses.

MIT OpenCourseWare lists course materials from 2,150 MIT classes and is touting 125 million visitors so far. This open learning platform differs from Coursera because the content is provided exclusively by MIT, rather than a consortium of universities. Continue reading

It’s not Rocket Science. Bloomberg Launchpad Part One: Basics

Bloomberg Launchpad BLP <GO> is a tool used to personalize your Bloomberg desktop.  A Launchpad View will look something like this, depending on which Components you select.

1 Completed launchpad

Use this tool to help you keep up on all of the securities and industries you are currently tracking. The Launchpad can contain a watch list of securities, news, analysis or whatever else you want displayed.  You can save this customized View (create as many as you need) and use it over and over.  You can also change a View whenever you want.  Just be sure to save your changes. And, you can select which Launchpad View displays when you log into Bloomberg.

First, you need to create your own Bloomberg account on any of the Lippincott Library Bloomberg terminals.  Instructions are available in our Business FAQ and at the Bloomberg terminals.  Once logged in, type BLP <GO> and you are ready to starting building.  This is what the Launchpad toolbar looks like:

Launchpad Toolbar

In order to build a Launchpad View you will need to create:

Monitor: A watch list of securities.

Components: Boxes displaying different functions related to the Monitor or a security. Continue reading

A Little Privacy, Please: Finding Private Company Information

livingsocial Toys-R-Us-LogoThe shares of a private company are held by one or a few individuals, and are not traded publicly. In contrast, anyone can buy the shares of a public company. Private companies greatly outnumber public companies. More than 99% of the world’s companies are private.

The Penn Libraries subscribe to several databases with extensive information on private companies. The databases all provide, at some level of detail, company and business descriptions, industry classifications, and executive names. They differ in the range of companies, and executives offered, as well as the financial detail they give. All have distinctive features of value. Over the next few weeks, we will describe several databases that are useful for private company research.


Providing access to more than 100 million company records worldwide, ORBIS is the master index to the Bureau Van Dijk (BVD) suite of databases. The suite draws data from three types of files.


  • Subject Related Files: Zephyr for M&A deals, Bankscope, ISIS for Insurance
  • Country Specific Files:  including databases such as FAME for the U.K., QIN for China, and ICARUS for Canada and the U.S.
  • International Files: OSIRIS, for 70,000 listed companies worldwide

Private Companies with Financial Statements

Most private companies in the U.S. are not required to make their financial statements public. Continue reading