Online database searching can be tricky. You need to be sure of your search syntax and the database’s scope and coverage. If you don’t use a particular database regularly, it’s easy to forget exactly what steps to follow to perform and accurate search.
Fortunately, at Dye & Durham we have staff who are expert searchers, whose skills and experience you can rely on.
Today and next Monday we want to share some information on SEDAR (System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval) and SEDI (System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders), two key Canadian securities databases for which Dye & Durham offers search services, through our corporate and commercial services.
Some facts about SEDAR:
- The System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) is a mandatory document filing and retrieval system for Canadian public companies and investment funds.
- SEDAR is administered by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), a coordinating body comprising the 13 Canadian provincial and territorial securities commissions, and operated on their behalf since 1997 (CSA and CDS Inc.). In 2014 a new service provider – CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc. was engaged in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario Securities Commissions. It was developed to increase the efficiency of the filing process for both the filing issuers and the Securities Commissions as well as to allow the electronic payment of CSA filing fees. It also improved public access to securities filings.
- SEDAR provides for the disclosure of documents of public companies and mutual funds across Canada. This type of information is made available to the public, with the objective of enhancing investor awareness of the business and affairs of public companies as well as investment funds and to promote confidence in the transparent operation of capital markets in Canada.
- All Canadian public companies and mutual funds are generally required to file their documents in the SEDAR system. In addition, some third parties who are involved in public company transactions such as take-over bids or proxy contests may be required to file. SEDAR facilitates transparency in an industry where this has been questioned in the past.
- Through registered filing agents, public companies file documents such as prospectuses, quarterly financial statements, material change reports, related management’s discussion and analysis, comparative annual financial statements, reports detailing changes of interests involving major security holders, meeting notices and proxy materials, major changes in the business affairs with news releases, contracts, significant acquisitions, and information sent to security holders that would be material to investors, government agencies and stock exchanges. In the interest of transparency full disclosure of these documents are accessible to the public.
- SEDAR search results are rendered in PDF format. Searches of the database can be made by company name, industry group, document type or date filed.
- Documents filed with regulators prior to the implementation of SEDAR in 1997 may be available from the individual securities commissions, but in the case of the British Columbia Securities Commission, historical filings may have been destroyed.
Check back next Monday for Part Two of our spotlight on SEDAR and SEDI.
(This post is based on an article by Debbie Larson, Dye & Durham’s Director of Search and Registration Services. It first appeared in the Winter 2014/15 issue of the BC Paralegal Association’s magazine, Paralegal Press.)