Institutional investors are things that pool together funds on behalf of others, and invest those funds in a number of different financial instruments and asset types. Institutional investors control exert considerable influence in all markets, and a significant quantity of all financial assets in the USA.
As the size and relevance of institutions continues to grow, so does their relative holdings and influence on the financial markets.
Institutional investors are usually regarded as more proficient at investing because of the assumed professional nature of operations and greater access to managements and companies because of size. As information has become more transparent and accessible these advantages may have eroded through the years, and regulation has limited the amount and method of disclosure by public companies.