About us

It takes time and practice to unlock the valuable information buried in corporate disclosures. Some disclosures are written without much thought for end readers. Others are meant to downplay serious problems. Some simply mislead. Spotting the difference isn't always easy.

We put our experience to work for you, giving you a better understanding of specific companies or industries through independent, custom research. We work with companies that want topresent clearer and more useful information to investors and the public. And if you'd rather learn to mine corporate filings yourself, we can teach you and your team the basics — and much more.

Corporate insight for the rest of us

We founded Disclosure Matters on three core beliefs:

  • Investors aren't the only ones who need to know what companies are up to (and even professional investors can use a hand now and then). 
  • Corporate disclosures and regulatory filings are voluminous, but typically far from clear.
  • With years of experience cutting through boilerplate, legalese and outright obfuscation, we can bring you closer to true transparency. 

A proven track-record

We spot significant patterns and meaningful developments in corporate documents. Then we add context from news archives, industry publications, government records and other sources. The result: A clearer picture of corporate practices, specific companies, even entire industries. Our past research has:

  • uncovered new regulatory and criminal inquiries; 
  • highlighted accounting gimmicks and irregularities;
  • spotted signs of undisclosed merger activity;
  • exposed serious governance shortcomings;
  • brought to light hidden executive pay and conflicts of interest;
  • predicted tax windfalls;
  • identified indications of impending bankruptcy;
  • exposed inaccuracies and inconsistencies in public statements by companies and executives.

Background

Before founding Disclosure Matters, Theo Francis spent eight years at The Wall Street Journal, and worked at BusinessWeek, Bloomberg News, and other national and regional publications. His award-winning reporting, much of it investigative, has focused on complex financial, regulatory, and public-policy issues, and has been recognized with the highest honors in financial and business journalism. He was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for the Journal's coverage of corporate scandals, and his reporting over the years has also been recognized with two Loeb Awards, two George Polk Awards, a National Journalism Award and other national honors.

Francis specializes in identifying patterns across multiple sources of information, putting key findings into context, and laying results out in plain but compelling language, in many cases with little or no meaningful cooperation from the subjects of his work. His areas of expertise include finance, insurance, health-care, accounting, pensions, technology, investment management, securities regulation, lobbying, and government.

In the two-and-a-half years before founding Disclosure Matters, he helped lead the expansion of footnotedPro, a research service for professional investors that identifies actionable information in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. He also blogs about corporate disclosures, governance and executive pay for footnoted.com, and occasionally writes for The New York Times' DealBook blog and other outlets.

More information on his work and career can be found at his professional website.