How to Research the Key Players in an Investment Banking Deal

By Matt Krantz, Robert R. Johnson

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an investment banking deal is just about the numbers. Because that is certainly not the case. The people behind the deal — for instance, the CEO and investors in a company being targeted for a buyout — can be very important.

Bloomberg, S&P Capital IQ, and Thomson Reuters all maintain comprehensive databases on all the players in finance, ranging from mutual fund managers to large investors. These services even allow you to e-mail some of these heavy hitters.

If your employer doesn’t have access to one of these services, or you’re an individual, you’ll need to be a bit more creative to find the information you need. Again, EDGAR is your best friend.

If you’re looking for information about a large investor, for instance, you can use EDGAR. But instead of using the Fast Search, you can use the Company Name search. Most big investors operate under a company name.

For instance, if you want to track the moves of hedge-fund manager David Einhorn, you’ll want to search for his investment firm — Greenlight Capital — in EDGAR. There, you’ll find all Einhorn’s moves that must be reported to the SEC.