Could The City of London Investment Group PLC (LON:CLIG) Ownership Structure Tell Us Something Useful?

·4 min read

A look at the shareholders of City of London Investment Group PLC (LON:CLIG) 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. I generally like to see some degree of insider ownership, even if only a little. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, 'Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.

With a market capitalization of UK£262m, City of London Investment Group is a small cap stock, so it might not be well known by many institutional investors. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about City of London Investment Group.

Check out our latest analysis for City of London Investment Group

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About City of London Investment Group?

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.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in City of London Investment Group. This suggests some credibility amongst professional investors. But we can't rely on that fact alone since institutions make bad investments sometimes, just like everyone does. 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 City of London Investment Group's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Hedge funds don't have many shares in City of London Investment Group. From our data, we infer that the largest shareholder is George Karpus (who also holds the title of Top Key Executive) with 32% of shares outstanding. Its usually considered a good sign when insiders own a significant number of shares in the company, and in this case, we're glad to see a company insider play the role of a key stakeholder. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 5.2% and 4.3%, of the shares outstanding, respectively. In addition, we found that Thomas Griffith, the CEO has 1.0% of the shares allocated to their name.

We also observed that the top 6 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.

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. While there is some analyst coverage, the company is probably not widely covered. So it could gain more attention, down the track.

Insider Ownership Of City of London Investment Group

The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. The company management answer to the board and the latter should represent the interests of shareholders. Notably, sometimes top-level managers are on the board themselves.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our most recent data indicates that insiders own a reasonable proportion of City of London Investment Group PLC. Insiders have a UK£97m stake in this UK£262m business. It is great to see insiders so invested in the business. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying recently.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 23% stake in the company, will not easily be ignored. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with City of London Investment Group (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter 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.

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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