Mavericks, Universal, and Common Owners - The Largest Shareholders of U.S. Public Firms

66 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2022 Last revised: 3 Oct 2022

See all articles by Amir Amel-Zadeh

Amir Amel-Zadeh

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Fiona Kasperk

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Martin C. Schmalz

CEPR; University of Oxford - Finance; CESifo; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 12, 2022

Abstract

Using a novel data set, we show that up to one-fifth of America's largest firms had an activist, non-financial blockholder, or insider as their largest shareholder in the past 20 years. Blockholders and insiders tend to be less diversified than institutional investors. Measures of ``universal'' and ``common'' ownership of firms are therefore lower than previously believed based on analyses of institutional investors' holdings alone, and the heterogeneity in ownership structures across firms is greater. Activism contributes positively to common ownership of industry rivals, as do the ``Big 3'' and consolidation in the asset management industry. We conclude that policy makers can reduce within-industry common ownership without sacrificing diversification or market indexing.

Keywords: universal ownership, common ownership, institutional ownership, blockholders, insiders, antitrust, governance

JEL Classification: G23, G34, L21, L40

Suggested Citation

Amel-Zadeh, Amir and Kasperk, Fiona and Schmalz, Martin C. and Schmalz, Martin C., Mavericks, Universal, and Common Owners - The Largest Shareholders of U.S. Public Firms (April 12, 2022). European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 838/2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4059513 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4059513

Amir Amel-Zadeh

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Fiona Kasperk

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Martin C. Schmalz (Contact Author)

CEPR ( email )

London
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Finance ( email )

United States

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

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