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Is Vericity, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:VERY) Shareholder Ownership Skewed Towards Insiders?

A look at the shareholders of Vericity, Inc. (NASDAQ:VERY) can tell us which group is most powerful. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it's not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. I quite like to see at least a little bit of insider ownership. As Charlie Munger said 'Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome.

Vericity is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$108m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. Taking a look at our data on the ownership groups (below), it seems that institutions are not really that prevalent on the share registry. We can zoom in on the different ownership groups, to learn more about Vericity.

View our latest analysis for Vericity

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Vericity?

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.

Since institutions own only a small portion of Vericity, many may not have spent much time considering the stock. But it's clear that some have; and they liked it enough to buy in. So if the company itself can improve over time, we may well see more institutional buyers in the future. It is not uncommon to see a big share price rise if multiple institutional investors are trying to buy into a stock at the same time. So check out the historic earnings trajectory, below, but keep in mind it's the future that counts most.

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

Vericity is not owned by hedge funds. The company's largest shareholder is J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC, with ownership of 76%. This essentially means that they have extensive influence, if not outright control, over the future of the corporation. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 4.2% and 2.2% of the stock. James Hohmann, who is the second-largest shareholder, also happens to hold the title of Chief Executive Officer.

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. Our information suggests that there isn't any analyst coverage of the stock, so it is probably little known.

Insider Ownership Of Vericity

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Vericity, Inc.. In their own names, insiders own US$9.1m worth of stock in the US$108m company. This shows at least some alignment, but we usually like to see larger insider holdings. You can click here to see if those insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, who are usually individual investors, hold a 14% stake in Vericity. 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.

Private Equity Ownership

With an ownership of 76%, private equity firms are in a position to play a role in shaping corporate strategy with a focus on value creation. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and -- as the name suggests -- don't invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.

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. Be aware that Vericity is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is concerning...

Of course this may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free free list of interesting companies.

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.