There was a time when the digital information services provided by Bloomberg accounted for more valuable data than what you could find on the internet; this was in the early 1980s, when Michael Bloomberg invented the earliest version of the Terminal upon getting fired from Salomon Brothers and offering premium subscriptions to competing investment banking firms such as Merrill Lynch. In those times, accessing the Bloomberg Terminal required you to purchase the hardware itself, which was a big and boxy client device that established dial-up connections to the Bloomberg data servers.
As you can imagine, having access to a Bloomberg Terminal in the 20th century was very expensive, and it was a big deal, particularly if you were able to login from home. These days, subscription levels start at just a few dollars per day, and you can even use a smartphone to access the information you need. The “big deal” subscriptions at the Professional Level cost $24,000 per year, and they allow you to create a Bloomberg profile, which would need to be evaluated before it goes live; this is an internal method of profile creation, but it is not the most common.
For the most part, Bloomberg information researchers create personal profiles for notable individuals, particularly those who hold executive positions in the fields of finance, banking, investing, and entrepreneurship. Unlike company profiles, which in Bloomberg are predominantly for publicly traded firms, quite a few personal profiles are based on individuals whose business achievements have solely taken place within private companies, but whose track record is significant and worthy of inclusion in the Bloomberg directory.
With all the above in mind, here are four pieces of information you can glean from modern Bloomberg profiles:
Executive Board Memberships
In addition to the business organization, Bloomberg profiles will tell you the precise title held by the individual within the board. The tenure of the membership is listed as an additional column. Depending on your Bloomberg Terminal level, you may be able to set up an alert that will notify you the moment there is a change in board membership. You can follow companies as well as executives, and this could help make informed decisions with your trading.
This is self-explanatory, and it is a feature found across all Bloomberg sections. Each company that the individual is affiliated with operates within one or more industries or economic sectors, and they are all listed for the convenience of Bloomberg users.
To a certain extent, Bloomberg profiles are like job resumes in the sense that both include sections related to education, but you should not expect long explanations of academic achievements because Bloomberg limits this field to alma mater institutions. If you need more information about an individual’s academic record, you can use the Bloomberg Terminal search tools and look for news articles on the executive you are researching.
Various Other Affiliations
Memberships in non-profit organizations, political parties, athletic clubs, or charitable causes are listed below the board membership section.