How Much Of Standard Life Aberdeen plc (LON:SLA) Do Institutions Own?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 02, 2021
LSE:SLA

A look at the shareholders of Standard Life Aberdeen plc (LON:SLA) can tell us which group is most powerful. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.

With a market capitalization of UK£6.4b, Standard Life Aberdeen is rather large. We'd expect to see institutional investors on the register. Companies of this size are usually well known to retail investors, too. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions own shares in the company. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about Standard Life Aberdeen.

See our latest analysis for Standard Life Aberdeen

ownership-breakdown
LSE:SLA Ownership Breakdown February 2nd 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Standard Life Aberdeen?

Institutions typically measure themselves against a benchmark when reporting to their own investors, so they often become more enthusiastic about a stock once it's included in a major index. We would expect most companies to have some institutions on the register, especially if they are growing.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Standard Life Aberdeen. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see Standard Life Aberdeen's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
LSE:SLA Earnings and Revenue Growth February 2nd 2021

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Standard Life Aberdeen. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 6.5% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 4.9% and 4.2% of the stock.

Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.

While it makes sense to study institutional ownership data for a company, it also makes sense to study analyst sentiments to know which way the wind is blowing. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Standard Life Aberdeen

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

I generally consider insider ownership to be a good thing. However, on some occasions it makes it more difficult for other shareholders to hold the board accountable for decisions.

Our data suggests that insiders own under 1% of Standard Life Aberdeen plc in their own names. It is a very large company, so it would be surprising to see insiders own a large proportion of the company. Though their holding amounts to less than 1%, we can see that board members collectively own UK£5.0m worth of shares (at current prices). Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 41% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Standard Life Aberdeen. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.

Next Steps:

I find it very interesting to look at who exactly owns a company. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Standard Life Aberdeen .

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

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.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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