Marc Moncrief August 17, 2012
Visit our interactive map of the connections that link our most prominent companies.
It's profit reporting season for corporate Australia, and so it seems a good time to have a look at company boards.
It's always seemed strange to us that people have really different ideas about what company boards are and what companies do.
Companies are thought of in terms of their competition. We think of major rivals battling with one another constantly to try to get into our wallets.
Company boards, however, we tend to think of rather like turnstiles, where the rich and powerful few swing in to make their millions.
We constantly hear of the tiny pool of director talent available in Australia, and this leads to a conundrum: how can such a small group maintain distance from one company to the next, in order to keep competition healthy in the system as a whole?
Today, we're trying to help you investigate that question with this interactive graphic. The link above will lead you to a network map that charts the connections created within the companies listed on the S&P/ASX200 exchange, the benchmark index of Australian shares, by virtue of the directors that these companies share. Click here for associated coverage with some of our findings.
The small, beige-coloured nodes in the network map indicate directors. The director nodes coalesce around company nodes. These company nodes vary in size according to the value of the company. Their colours vary from orange to bright pink with the number of directors on a particular company's board.
If you click on a node or enter a name in the search field at the top of the visualisation, the map will take you to that the node representing that company or that director. A window will open with further information. If you are looking at a company, you will find links to each board member within that company.
If you are looking at a director's information, you will also see the logo of Who's Who Australia next to the director's name. Click on the logo to learn more about that director's career and education, or to see which clubs the director belongs to.
We invite you to dive in to the visualisation and tell us what you find.