Derek Abdinor

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10 questions when reviewing XBRL software

This post first appeared in XBRL Blog  XBRL deployment is a long river, and you need to keep that in mind regardless if you’re focussed on the (downstream) regulatory filing and analysing components or the (upstream) ERP integration and general ledger design. I’ve put together a list that takes into account technical, accounting, filing and investor relations. The point is […]

Advisors score from the failed Billiton – Rio Tinto deal

The news du jour is that BHP Billiton has declined to pursue its offer for Rio Tinto. Whilst on the one hand the story has flummoxed the investor community, the back channel is that millions of pounds were spent consulting with the professionals who were drafting up the paperwork, dotting the i’s and twisting the fountain pen nibs. I quote […]

British fund managers want annual board re-elections | The Times

Institutional investors of British banks have got more powerful over the years, at the expense of the retail investor. This power has been somewhat diluted by the weighing in of government in the form of bailouts. Further evidence of executive compensation becoming the most scrutinised aspect of financial reporting is also revealed in the article, where majority investors expect to […]

Investor relations from here on in

This was originally published in Bizcommunity, October 20 2008 Corporate transparency is the winner after every market correction – from the 1930’s New Deal laws through to King II and Sarbanes-Oxley. Being involved in your company’s investor relations/corporate affairs section, this will affect how you communicate to the markets and even internally. The rise of activist shareholders and government […]

A Continuum of Online Investor Information

Ofttimes, people come up to me and say “please stop taking pictures” or “get off my lawn”. Othertimes, I talk to them about communicating to their stakeholders in an online fashion. There are many tools to accomplish this. The variety becomes a problem because clients may see it as a shopping list. The real issue is the usability. If you […]

Explaining XBRL : the wisdom of flocks

I find the standard way of explaining XBRL using the barcode analogy doesn’t quite work for me. A barcode is a complex display with arguably more information encoded on that “tag” than exists for the object label itself. I think of financial statements locked in a PDF or book as a flock of birds an ornithologist is studying. They all […]

How traders use social media > Dealstream

Dealstream Securities traded derivatives on the JSE Securities Exchange, specialising in listed single stock futures and CFDs. Alleged problems with its trade in CFDs led to them running out of liquidity with its clearing memberand they were pulled off the markets a few days ago. Assuming that the investment/trading community is probably griping about this topic in the Bull Run […]

SEC embraces social media

The US SEC (our JSE equivalent) announced on Tuesday late August that the format for financial statements to the regulator, Edgar, will be superseded by a format that has more in common with the social media tools today’s users have come to enjoy. You had to see the webcast (and followed the liveblog): The president-appointed chairman who oversees America’s $26-trillion […]

Teching Teachnology for sustainability

I reckon that technology-ignorant clients are a double-edged sword. The Law states that whatever sophisticated concept you manage to run by them with no resistance, thou shalt be smitten with much rebuking about low-end things, eg: this content management tool doesn’t accept my MS Word tabs and indents! Shriek! I just want to print one piece of paper off this […]

Trawling for advice on Vignette

I recently had the need to get information on Vignette (story server) in a hurry, and followed a certain methodology which is no doubt common to many. In order: Google Vignette’s site Wikipedia Phone dev friends Twitter Post a question on LinkedIn You could seperate the first 3 into old-style information harvesting (even wikipedia), #4 into common sense, and #5 […]

XBRL: mash-ups for accountants

This first appeared in Techleader, June 2008 I’m grateful for search engines, but I still find it hard to accept living with Dead Text. Letters and figures on a screen. Not able to be mined, found, unlocked, extrapolated into meaning. What irks me in particular is tables of figures, especially financial information, that you would have to re-key into excel […]

The Wisdom of Clouds

This first appeared in TechLeader, June 2008 I have this credibility problem with cartoons where, when they regularly reach behind their heads/into their coats, they tend to whip out gadgets/weaponry that outweigh them and flaunt Newton One to Three. For storylines, its weak. But for concepts like storing terabytes of data and other objects off your local grid, its incredible. […]


Some think that loadshedding came at the right time, to force people to save power and start thinking along sustainable lines: perhaps even to get back to traditional ways of spending time together. The same has been bandied about about high petrol (gas) prices.  Raise the price, get people to drive less (less carbon, less demand, build public transport); it […]

Investor relating

I’ve just put down a fascinating article in an old issue of IR Magazine, about the differences in IR language between the US and UK. The premise is that while language and verbage are 99% the same, meaning and emphasis is totally different. For example, “challenging” in plc terms may mean ‘dire’, or ‘SELL'; in the US that could translate […]

The problem of linear governance | openaccountability

I was kindly invited by James Governor (aka Monkchips) of Redmonk, to participate in a pre-conference Wiki, OpenAccountability. James is hyper-passionate about sustainability and web2, and doesn’t mince words or dialectics; I foresee him turning his dab hand to shareholder activism in time. I posted there, thought it would fit here too… Corporate communication tends to follow a linear trail, […]

Shareholder activism and Motorola: (the billionaire way)

Shareholder activists are not parka-wearing, be-bearded, placard-waving activists. By definition, they need to own and control shares. Unfortunately, retail investors being what they are, also means they wont get much clout at the AGM. It helps if you’re a billionaire in charge of investment funds, and you aren’t happy the way that your investment is being managed. The mere whiff […]

PIC shows how it voted

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa released a PDF on its website on April 1, displaying how it voted at various AGMs. The PIC is tasked with investing the pension funds of government employees, and therefore tend to hold large chunks of equity in public companies. In fact, they hold over R700 billion assets under management, making them […]

The retail investor | the free library

This is verbatim: IR Firm Pushes Retail investor…-a0112360402 Has the recent runup in the stock market brought the individual investor, battered by years of losses, back into the market in a big way? Experts may be divided, but one sign that it has comes from the Financial Relations Board (FRB), a major public relations and investor relations firm. The […]