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With 74% institutional ownership, AEW UK REIT plc (LON:AEWU) is a favorite amongst the big guns

If you want to know who really controls AEW UK REIT plc (LON:AEWU), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. With 74% stake, institutions possess the maximum shares in the company. Put another way, the group faces the maximum upside potential (or downside risk).

Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot of weight, especially with individual investors. As a result, a sizeable amount of institutional money invested in a firm is generally viewed as a positive attribute.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of AEW UK REIT.

See our latest analysis for AEW UK REIT

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AEW UK REIT?

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.

AEW UK REIT already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. 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 AEW UK REIT'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

Institutional investors own over 50% of the company, so together than can probably strongly influence board decisions. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in AEW UK REIT. Old Mutual Investment Group (Pty) Limited is currently the company's largest shareholder with 7.0% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 5.6% and 5.3%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

After doing some more digging, we found that the top 17 have the combined ownership of 51% in the company, suggesting that no single shareholder has significant control over the company.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of AEW UK REIT

While the precise definition of an insider can be subjective, almost everyone considers board members to be insiders. 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.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our information suggests that AEW UK REIT plc insiders own under 1% of the company. It appears that the board holds about UK£692k worth of stock. This compares to a market capitalization of UK£147m. Many investors in smaller companies prefer to see the board more heavily invested. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public-- including retail investors -- own 24% stake in the company, and hence can't easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for AEW UK REIT you should be aware of, and 1 of them is potentially serious.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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