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The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) is largely controlled by institutional shareholders who own 74% of the company

To get a sense of who is truly in control of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 74% to be precise, is institutions. 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. Hence, having a considerable amount of institutional money invested in a company is often regarded as a desirable trait.

Let's take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about Goldman Sachs Group.

See our latest analysis for Goldman Sachs Group

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Goldman Sachs Group?

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 Goldman Sachs Group. This can indicate that the company has a certain degree of credibility in the investment community. However, it is best to be wary of relying on the supposed validation that comes with institutional investors. They too, get it wrong sometimes. 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 Goldman Sachs Group's earnings history below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

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. Goldman Sachs Group is not owned by hedge funds. The Vanguard Group, Inc. is currently the largest shareholder, with 9.4% of shares outstanding. With 7.1% and 6.3% of the shares outstanding respectively, BlackRock, Inc. and State Street Global Advisors, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.

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 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 Goldman Sachs Group

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 information suggests that The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. insiders own under 1% of the company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$507m of stock. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 25% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Goldman Sachs Group. 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. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Goldman Sachs Group that you should be aware of.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its 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.

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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