Who Are GAM Holding AG’s (VTX:GAM) Major Shareholders?

I am going to take a deep dive into GAM Holding AG’s (VTX:GAM) most recent ownership structure, not a frequent subject of discussion among individual investors. Ownership structure has been found to have an impact on shareholder returns in both short- and long-term. Differences in ownership structure of companies can have a profound effect on how management’s incentives are aligned with shareholder returns, and whether they adhere to corporate governance best practices. Although this is an important factor for long-term investors, many investors can also be impacted by institutional presence and their high-volume trading. Therefore, it is beneficial for us to examine GAM’s ownership structure in more detail.

View our latest analysis for GAM Holding

SWX:GAM Ownership Summary July 23rd 18
SWX:GAM Ownership Summary July 23rd 18

Institutional Ownership

GAM’s 70.30% institutional ownership seems enough to cause large share price movements in the case of significant share sell-off or acquisitions by institutions, particularly when there is a low level of public shares available on the market to trade. These moves, at least in the short-term, are generally observed in an institutional ownership mix comprising of active stock pickers, in particular levered hedge funds, which can cause large price swings. With hedge funds holding a 5.02% stake in the company, its share price can experience heightened volatility. We should dig deeper into the company’s ownership structure to find how the rest of its ownership structure can impact its investment case.

Insider Ownership

An important group of shareholders are company insiders. Insider ownership has to do more with how the company is managed and less to do with the direct impact of the magnitude of shares trading on the market. GAM insiders hold a minor stake in the company, which somewhat aligns their interests with that of shareholders. However, a higher level of insider ownership has been linked to management executing on high-returning projects instead of expansion projects for the sake of apparent growth. It would also be interesting to check what insiders have been doing with their shareholding recently. Insider buying can be a positive indicator of future performance, but a selling decision can be simply driven by personal financial requirements.

General Public Ownership

A substantial ownership of 24.54% in GAM is held by the general public. With this size of ownership, retail investors can collectively play a role in major company policies that affect shareholders returns, including executive remuneration and the appointment of directors. They can also exercise the power to decline an acquisition or merger that may not improve profitability.

Next Steps:

I suggest investors seek some degree of margin of safety due to high institutional ownership in GAM, in particular due to the strong presence of active hedge fund investors. This is to avoid getting trapped in a sustained sell-off that is often observed in stocks with this level of institutional participation. However, if you are building an investment case for GAM, ownership structure alone should not dictate your decision to buy or sell the stock. Instead, you should be evaluating company-specific factors such as the intrinsic valuation, which is a key driver of GAM Holding’s share price. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for GAM’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GAM’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has GAM been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of GAM’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.