Institutional investors are, according to the Yahoo! Biz glossary, organizations that invest, including insurance companies, depository institutions, pension funds, investment companies, mutual funds, and endowment funds.
There are also a category of institutions that are qualified investors.
These institutions are permitted under the SEC rules to trade private placement securities with other qualified institutions without registering the securities with the SEC.
This definition requires a minimum of $100 million in assets under management for the institution.
Maybe the best way to approach the definition of institutional investments is to look at the companies that are listed under the institutions for this category.
There are some good list available with names of hundreds of institutions. These lists include:
- pionline.com/docs/2003MMTop100USTaxExemptprn.PDF (Top 100 Managers Ranked by US Institutional Tax Exemption Assets)
- pionline.com/docs/2003MMRankingPRO.pdf (Top Managers Ranked by World Wide Institutional Assets)
- reuters.fincareer.com/homepage/listOfAssetMgmtUSA.jsp (The top 50 American asset management firms)
Learning About the Available Institutional Investors
In addition to the lists of available institutions in this category, you can also learn about their backgrounds at
pionline.com/spotlight.cms?topicId=25 (most of the profiles are under premium services, meaning it costs money to get the file)
One of the best resources for up-to-date information on the institutional investment world is the Institutional Investor Magazine, which has a web site located at iimagazine.com.
One of the good tools to find actual institutional investments in the marketplace is the marketguide.com web site, now owned by Reuters.
There's a specific area for Institutional Ownership reports, under the "Sentiment" section of the web site.
From institutional investors page to Investments Guide index