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Glencore plc's (LON:GLEN) market cap touched UK£73b last week, benefiting both individual investors who own 49% as well as institutions

If you want to know who really controls Glencore plc (LON:GLEN), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 49% to be precise, is individual investors. That is, the group stands to benefit the most if the stock rises (or lose the most if there is a downturn).

While individual investors were the group that benefitted the most from last week’s UK£4.7b market cap gain, institutions too had a 34% share in those profits.

In the chart below, we zoom in on the different ownership groups of Glencore.

See our latest analysis for Glencore

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Glencore?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in Glencore. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. 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 Glencore'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 Glencore. Our data shows that Ivan Glasenberg is the largest shareholder with 9.2% of shares outstanding. Meanwhile, the second and third largest shareholders, hold 8.1% and 7.9%, of the shares outstanding, respectively.

A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.

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. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Glencore

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 most recent data indicates that insiders own some shares in Glencore plc. It is a very large company, and board members collectively own UK£6.7b 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

With a 49% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Glencore. 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.

Private Equity Ownership

With a stake of 7.9%, private equity firms could influence the Glencore board. Some investors might be encouraged by this, since private equity are sometimes able to encourage strategies that help the market see the value in the company. Alternatively, those holders might be exiting the investment after taking it public.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Glencore better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Glencore (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

Ultimately the future is most important. You can access this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

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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