Founded in 1970 as a division of Legg Mason, The Washington Service began as a provider
of legislative and policy analysis to institutional investors. In response
to customer demand, The Washington Service specialized in gathering information
from the myriad of available federal, state, and local agency sources, with a specific
focus on the SEC.
At the request of Peter Lynch, then manager of Fidelity’s Magellan Fund, The Washington
Service started capturing the insider trading data disseminated by the SEC.
By this time the firm had established its reputation as a top-tier provider of SEC
documents and data. Peter Lynch’s request launched the firm’s insider trading
business, which continues to be a main line of business.
Also in the 1980s Bloomberg, Dow Jones, and Thomson Reuters selected The Washington
Service to be the provider of insider trading news on their financial information
platforms, relationships which continue to the present. The Washington Service
also offers direct subscription value-added insider trading services on these financial
information platforms, in addition to the basic insider trading news available to
In 1989 the firm’s management team purchased the business from Legg Mason and continues
to operate it today as an independent organization. In the 1990s the firm
launched its internet based EZ-Insider and EZ-EDGAR offerings. In 1996, the
SEC initiated EDGAR, an electronic public company filings feed. Soon after
EDGAR’s debut The Washington Service became a Tier 1 recipient of the feed directly
from the SEC, a role it currently maintains.
Today, The Washington Service is best known as the premier provider of insider trading
data and analytics to securities professionals. The firm also offers a suite
of custom services, research, and APIs focused on the SEC’s EDGAR feed.