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Willis Group Holdings PLC (WSH): Insiders and Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About It

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are plenty of methods shareholders can use to analyze Mr. Market. A pair of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best fund managers can trounce the broader indices by a very impressive margin (see just how much).

Just as crucial, positive insider trading activity is a second way to look at the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are many motivations for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Various academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

Furthermore, it’s important to discuss the latest info about Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH).

What have hedge funds been doing with Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH)?

Heading into Q3, a total of 19 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the first quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH)When using filings from the hedgies we track, Jeffrey Ubben’s ValueAct Capital had the largest position in Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH), worth close to $742.8 million, accounting for 7.6% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Natixis Global Asset Management of Harris Associates, with a $577.2 million position; 1.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Matt McLennan’s First Eagle Investment Management, Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management and Ric Dillon’s Diamond Hill Capital.

Because Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH) has experienced declining interest from upper-tier hedge fund managers, logic holds that there were a few hedgies who were dropping their positions entirely in Q1. Interestingly, Jeffrey Tannenbaum’s Fir Tree said goodbye to the largest investment of all the hedgies we key on, totaling an estimated $60.3 million in stock, and Ken Griffin of Citadel Investment Group was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $36.9 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH)?

Insider buying made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last 180-day time period, Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also examine the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE:WSH). These stocks are Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MMC), Aon PLC (NYSE:AON), Erie Indemnity Company (NASDAQ:ERIE), Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO), and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG). This group of stocks are in the insurance brokers industry and their market caps are closest to WSH’s market cap.

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