Lower fees aside, the rise of index funds has entailed a massive concentration of corporate ownership. Together, BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street have nearly US$11 trillion in assets under management. That’s more than all sovereign wealth funds combined and over three times the global hedge fund industry.
In arecently published paper, ourCORPNET research projectcomprehensively mapped the ownership of the Big Three. We found that the Big Three, taken together, have become the largest shareholder in 40% of all publicly listed firms in the United States.
In the S&P 500 – the benchmark index of America’s largest corporations – the situation is even more extreme. Together, the Big Three are the largest single shareholder in almost 90% of S&P 500 firms, including Apple, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, General Electric and Coca-Cola. This is the index in which most people invest.
Who owns big business: the rise of passive investors…
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