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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Company Personnel

Arranged by type of personnel.

Corporate Counsel: To find a company's in-house counsel, you can try ...

  1. The Directory of Corporate Counsel (in paper or on Lexis (2NDARY;DIRCCO) or Westlaw (CORP-DIR);
  2. Martindale-Hubbell and/or the FindLaw Legal Directory;
  3. The company index in back issues of CCM magazine;
  4. The Corporate Yellow Book (see "Yellow Books");
  5. Searching general, legal and/or business news databases;
  6. Bloomberg.

For large companies, you can also check: (a) the annual Who Represents Corporate America by the National Law Journal (b) Corporate Counsel's The In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies (free registration) or look at In-House Law Departments at the Top 1000 Companies (ALM Media) if you have a copy.

For public companies search SEC filings (see the Filings section of "Securities and Exchange Commission").

If you want to know a company's outside counsel, search the client field in an electronic version of Martindale-Hubbell and/or search the company name in a database of docket sheets, SEC filings, news articles, and anything else you think might help. You may want to search the legal news specifically (the National Law Journal runs an annual article called Who Defends Corporate America; regional publications run similar articles for particular cities and states).

If you want to find out about in-house law departments generally, you might want to see the annual Hildebrandt Law Department Survey. You can buy the survey from Hildebrandt, borrow a copy (if you can find someone who has it) or use the online edition on Westlaw (e.g., HILDEBRANDT2008 for the 2008 edition).

Executives: If you want to know if someone is an executive at a public company, the company's annual report (usually Form 10K) filed with the SEC gives about the best list of execs you're likely to find (see the Filings sections of Securities and Exchange Commission entry for ways to search filings). Alternatively, you can look in the appropriate Mergent manual, the Directors & Executives volume of the Standard & Poor's Register the Corporate Yellow Book, or any other good directory of public companies.

Alternatively, for public and private companies, check out the company Web site. You can also look in the D&B Million Dollar Directory, the Directory of Corporate Affiliations (in paper, Lexis, S&P NetAdvantage, or another good business directory that includes private companies. Or you could call the company and ask.

If that doesn't do it -- or if you have the name of a person and want to find the name of his/her company -- your best bet may be to search the person's name in a news database (e.g., Lexis' NEWS;ALLNWS or NEWS;BUS) or to find out if executives are listed in a filing with the relevant Secretary of State. You could also try searching the name in one of the following databases:

(a) D&B, which lets you search by principal (including President, Vice President, Chairman, Treasurer, etc.) -- the search is free;

(b) KnowX: Owners and Officers and/or Executive Affiliations searches;

(c) Lexis: The USCO file which often includes the name of the president/CEO/owner;

(d) Hoovers;

(e) Capital IQ, if you have a subscription;

(f) OneSource, if you have a subscription;

(g) Jigsaw.

For biographical information about top execs, search the company's Proxy Statements, D&B reports, news, the Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, company Web sites, general biographical sources and maybe a relevant Who's Who. Also check The Wall Street Transcript, which posts interviews with executives from leading U.S. Companies.

Note: The Directory of Corporate Affiliations lists Marketing and Human Resources directors.

The sworn certifications of financial statements that executives must file with the SEC are available on Westlaw (FSEC-CERT) and LIVEDGAR.

See also Finding People.

Directors: The members of a public company's Board of Directors are named in the company's annual proxy statement filed with the SEC. For public and private companies, some states require the company to list the Board members in the company's annual report or another filing; call the relevant Secretary of State to check before you order a report (see Secretary of State Records).

Also, directors of public companies are listed in the company reports in the Mergent Manuals, the Corporate Yellow Book (in paper or on Westlaw) and any other good directory of public companies. You also might find directors listed in a D&B reports or Dow Jones' Corporate Ownership Watch.

You may find biographical information in the Financial Post Directory of Directors, which is on Lexis (COMPNY;FPDIR), or the Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives. There's also a chance of some biographical information in the D&B report. If you have access, even more comprehensive fee-based reports are available from CapitalIQ and Boardex.

Maryland: Maryland companies are required to list their officers and directors on the first page of their annual property tax return. Copies of this first page (thought not the rest of the return) can be retrieved at the Maryland State Department of Taxation and Assessment (SDAT).

Note: For directors of departments within a company, see the Executives section of this entry, above.

Employees: To find out the number of employees, you can check: the D&B Million Dollar Directory (especially good for subsidiaries); for public companies, look in the relevant Mergent Manual (or Mergent Online) or the company's latest 10-K. D&B reports often give the number of employees. To find a particular employee, who is not an executive, you can search general search engines such as Google and social network sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and sometimes you'll get lucky. You can search news articles and/or the company's Web site, but my success here has been limited. Accurint's People at Work database tries to link people to their jobs; the results can be outdated or inaccurate, so treat the information as a worthwhile lead but verify its accuracy (e.g., by calling the company) before relying on it. You might also want to try to locate the person apart from the job (see "Finding People").

Shareholders: See separate entry for Shareholders.

To find other professional company personal, see entries for specific professions (Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, etc.).

See Also
Company Information
Finding People

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman