Finding Company Data

    Learn how to mine for company data and shed light on financial irregularities

    Goldsmiths, University of London
    29 November 2012

    There are no pre-requisites for this course. Book your place

    Course Fee
    Full price: £175
    NUJ member: £150
    Details of how to pay are on the booking form.

    Course Outline

    This one-day course will show you where to find company data and to shed light on the hidden depths of the financial world.

    The emphasis will be on teaching practical skills rather than a series of lectures.

    The objective of this course is to ensure that all participants know where and how to look for relevant information. The course will take in company information available in the UK, Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia and assorted offshore tax havens.

    10.00-11.30 Martin Tomkinson
    Martin is a veteran investigative financial journalist and corporate researcher. He was a financial researcher for The Mail on Sunday's 'Rich List' from 2000-2004 and has worked on The Sunday Times' 'Rich List' since 2005.

    Martin has written for all of the UK’s major newspapers. He started work with Private Eye in 1972 and has worked as a freelance since 1981. He is the author of two books, Nothing to Declare: the Political Corruptions of John Poulson (with Michael Gillard) and The Pornbrokers: The Rise of the Soho Sex Barons.

    Any UK-based investigative journalist or aspiring journalist should have a working knowledge of Companies House; the central registry for all UK registered limited or PLC companies.

    Companies House contains a wealth of useful information for those who know how to use the site. The aim of this class is to show how to get the most information from the official website, as well as highlighting what information can’t be found there. It is an absolute must for anybody who does not feel confident in using this vital tool for investigators.

    11.45-1.15 Simon Bowers
    Simon is a Senior Financial Reporter specialsing in investigations for the Guardian's business desk. He has looked into the tax affairs of Amazon, Apple and Greene King among others. He has broken international whistleblower corruption stories and covered many of the biggest corporate fraud cases in the last decade, and taken an interest in Britain's Crown Dependencies and the offshore trust services they offer to some of the UK's wealthiest residents.

    Simon will talk about business figures that have successfully fostered an exaggerated impression of their own success in the media. He will illustrate his talk with some colourful examples of how a few checks on company data can shatter illusions created by brazen entrepreneurs and PRs (and perpetuated by the media).

    1.15-2.15 Lunch

    2.15-5.30 Overseas and Offshore Data
    With a leading finanicial journalist and a case study from the FT's Cynthia O'Murchu
    Publicly available company records contain hidden gems that can unlock a story or provide clues on where to dig further. This session will show you a selection of international corporate registries, what you can get from them and what you cannot. We will review company information from Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia and a number of offshore tax havens.

    Including a case study from Cynthia O'Murchu is an investigative reporter for The Financial Times. Cynthia was part of the team that produced Europe's Hidden Billions in conjuction with The Bureau for Investigative Journalism. The project created a database tracking every penny distributed through the EU's Structural Funds to date, she will talk about turning data into headline stories.