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What Kind Of Shareholder Owns Most Aon plc (NYSE:AON) Stock?

Ben Rossbaum

Every investor in Aon plc (NYSE:AON) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. 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 have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

Aon is a pretty big company. It has a market capitalization of US$37b. Normally institutions would own a significant portion of a company this size. Taking a look at the our data on the ownership groups (below), it’s seems that institutional investors have bought into the company. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about AON.

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NYSE:AON Ownership Summary January 30th 19

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Aon?

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.

We can see that Aon does have institutional investors; and they hold 88% of the stock. 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. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at Aon’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NYSE:AON Income Statement Export January 30th 19

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. We note that hedge funds don’t have a meaningful investment in Aon. There are a reasonable number of analysts covering the stock, so it might be useful to find out their aggregate view on the future.

Insider Ownership Of Aon

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. 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.

We can see that insiders own shares in Aon plc. Insiders own US$391m worth of shares (at current prices). Most would say this shows a good alignment of interests between shareholders and the board. Still, it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, with a 11% stake in the company, will not 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:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Aon better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

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.

To help readers see past 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.