If you want to know who really controls Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. Companies that used to be publicly owned tend to have lower insider ownership.
Arthur J. Gallagher is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$23b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. In the chart below, we can see that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Arthur J. Gallagher.
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Arthur J. Gallagher?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
We can see that Arthur J. Gallagher does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Arthur J. Gallagher's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.
Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. Hedge funds don't have many shares in Arthur J. Gallagher. The company's largest shareholder is The Vanguard Group, Inc., with ownership of 11%. For context, the second largest shareholder holds about 10% of the shares outstanding, followed by an ownership of 4.4% by the third-largest shareholder.
After doing some more digging, we found that the top 15 have the combined ownership of 50% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.
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. There are plenty of analysts covering the stock, so it might be worth seeing what they are forecasting, too.
Insider Ownership Of Arthur J. Gallagher
While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.
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 information suggests that Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. insiders own under 1% of the company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$217m of stock. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 14% ownership, the general public have some degree of sway over Arthur J. Gallagher. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.
It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Arthur J. Gallagher better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Arthur J. Gallagher you should be aware of.
If you would prefer discover what analysts are predicting in terms of future growth, do not miss this free report on analyst forecasts.
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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