May 10, 2018 • 08:00 am ET



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Kathleen M. Guinnessey

first quarter results.

I'd now like to hand the call over to Tom Manning. Tom?

Thomas J. Manning

Thank you, Kathy. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us on the call today. As you know, this is a time of transition for Dun & Bradstreet. Before Rich takes you through our first quarter results, I'm going to use my time this morning to update you on the changes we announced on our last call in February.

Let's start with the CEO search. As we said earlier this year, the Board is acting with urgency to find a permanent CEO. We engaged a top search firm in early March to assist us in the process. We fully specked out the job and began identifying candidates with experience accelerating top- and bottom-line growth. The Nominating & Governance Committee of the Board is interviewing candidates now, focusing on finding someone who is a strong leader and can continue the progress we've made improving our data and analytics, developing solutions and capabilities to meet new customer use-cases, and modernizing our products and platforms. I can't tell you when we'll have the role filled, but I can assure you that it is a top priority for the Board.

At the same time, we are not waiting for a new CEO to implement the important changes that will help get the Company to sustainable growth on both the top and bottom lines. We've been working with McKinsey & Company to review our strategy and operations. The Board is looking beyond incremental operating leverage and seeking a real step change in the earnings and cash flow this Company can deliver.

As I said on our last call, we completed Phase One of the review having validated our strategy. In that phase, we confirmed that the markets we play in are attractive and we have strong competitive positions in them. A key pillar of the strategy we launched back in 2014 was to expand our advantage in data, which is paying off.

Thus far, our review has confirmed that our unique data assets continue to have differentiated value and customers are willing to pay for that value. We have twice the data of our nearest competitor and our data is 40% more predictive than that of our competitors. Furthermore, we have found that an overwhelming majority of our customers expect to stay with Dun & Bradstreet as they trust us, have familiarity with our brand and have confidence in the accuracy of our data. In addition, our focus on moving our business to as-a-service aligns closely with growing customer needs in the market.

With Phase One of our work complete, we are now engaged in Phase Two. Specifically, we are conducting a Full Potential Analysis, which is a bottoms-up approach to identifying specific barriers to realizing our potential, sizing the opportunities and identifying actions to take. We are about 80% of the way through this work and have confirmed the Board's belief that our earnings potential is far beyond