Common Ownership and the (Non-)Transparency of Institutional Shareholdings: An EU-US Comparison

39 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2022

See all articles by Sebastian Steuer

Sebastian Steuer

Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE

Date Written: July 25, 2022


This paper compares the extent of common ownership in the US and the EU stock markets, with a particular focus on differences in the ap-plicable ownership transparency requirements. Most empirical research on common ownership to date has focused on US issuers, largely relying on ownership data obtained from institutional investors’ 13F filings. This type of data is generally not available for EU issuers. Absent 13F filings, researchers have to use ownership records sourced from mutual funds’ periodic reports and blockholder disclosures. Constructing a “reduced dataset” that seeks to capture only ownership information available for both EU and US issuers, I demonstrate that the “extra” ownership information introduced by 13F filings is substantial. However, even when taking differences in the transparency situation into due account, common ownership among listed EU firms is much less pronounced than among listed US firms by any measure. This is true even if the analysis is limited to non-controlled firms.

Keywords: common ownership, profit weights, ownership disclosure, 13F filings, index funds, passive investors, institutional investors, Big Three

JEL Classification: G23, G34, G38, K22, L10, L41

Suggested Citation

Steuer, Sebastian, Common Ownership and the (Non-)Transparency of Institutional Shareholdings: An EU-US Comparison (July 25, 2022). SAFE Working Paper No. 354, Available at SSRN: or

Sebastian Steuer (Contact Author)

Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE ( email )

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
Frankfurt am Main, 60323

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