Google, owned by parent company Alphabet, is one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Based in Mountain View, California, the company is best known for its search engine function as well as its artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and online advertisement arms.
The company also owns Fitbit, YouTube, Mandiant, Looker, and Nest, amongst others. As of January 2024, Google had 12.62 billion outstanding shares, significantly more than competitors like Microsoft, Amazon, and Adobe, but less than Apple.
At the time of writing, Alphabet’s shares (GOOG) were trading at $157.2 with a market capitalization of about $1.91 trillion. In Q3 2023, the company saw a revenue of about $76.6 billion, according to its financial statements.
So, who owns Alphabet stock? Explore the company’s top 10 individual and institutional investors.
Coming to Google owners, Alphabet shareholders are spread out between massive institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.
Sergey Brin, a co-founder of the company, is one of the biggest Google shareholders with a stake accounting for about 366,967,000 shares, as of 11 May 2023 according to GuruFocus.
Brin is currently a controlling stakeholder in Alphabet as well as a board member, however, he stepped down as Alphabet President back in 2019.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of January 2024, Brin was estimated to be the eighth wealthiest man in the world, slightly above Warren Buffet.
Besides owning a significant stake in Google and several subsidiaries such as YouTube and Fitbit, Brin launched an airship company LTA Research and Exploration that develops airships for humanitarian and cargo transport.
However, late in 2023, Brin was reportedly back at Google to work on its artificial intelligence-powered Gemini model.
Larry Page is the second-largest individual investor with a significant stake in Alphabet. He held about 19,513,614 GOOG shares as of 19 April 2022.
Page co-founded Google in 1998 with Sergey Brin, while both were studying for a Stanford University computer science degree.
Page served as the CEO of Google in two periods: from 1997 to 2021, and then from 2011 to 2019. During the latter stint, the parent company Alphabet was established.
As of 2024, Page was the seventh wealthiest billionaire, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. One of his and Brin’s best-known achievements is Google’s search ranking algorithm PageRank, which was awarded the Marconi Prize.
Apart from Google, Page also has a significant stake in Opener and Kitty Hawk, both flying car companies.
Sundar Pichai, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alphabet and Google, is another major Google investor, having 595,049 shares, as of 25 December 2023.
Previously at McKinsey, Pichai switched to the Google product management team in 2024, where he worked on various applications such as ChromeOs. Google Maps, Google Drive, and Gmail.
He became the CEO of Google and Alphabet in 2015 and was included on Alphabet’s board in 2017.
Ruth Porat, Alphabet’s President and Chief Investment Officer comes next on this list of major Google stockholders, with approximately 112,836 shares as of 25 December 2023.
Formerly Morgan Stanley’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Porat ranked eighth on Fortune’s 100 most powerful women in business list 2023.
Back in 2015, Porat joined Google as its Chief Financial Officer, before rising up the ranks to President and Chief Investment Officer in 2023.
She overlooks finance, real estate, business operations, and workplace services. Porat has also been lauded for implementing a higher degree of financial discipline at Google.
Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president of Google had about 68,528 shares as of 25 December 2023.
Previously at Verity, IBM Research, Stanford University as well as Yahoo! Labs, Raghavan joined Google in 2012.
He oversees Geo, Google Search, Ads, Payments, Commerce, and Assistant products. Not only that, but Raghavan has written a couple of textbooks with Rajeev Motwani, named Introduction to Information Retrieval and Randomized Algorithms.
Some of Google’s largest shareholders are prominent institutional investors with their own mutual funds holding Alphabet shares.
As of 29 September 2023, these were the biggest institutional Alphabet shareholders:
Vanguard Group was the largest Alphabet shareholder, having 410,033,523 shares, valued at about $63,512,144,296.
This was about 7.16% of outstanding shares. Founded in 1975, the Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and has quickly grown to become one of the largest mutual fund providers and investment advisors in the world.
As of April 2023, its assets under management came up to about $7.7 trillion. The company offers exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, educational account services, and brokerage services.
Vanguard recently came under fire by some investors for refusing to offer Bitcoin ETFs to its investors. The company expressed concerns about the possibility of the cryptocurrency crashing suddenly. Still, some inventors considered this move as prudent.
BlackRock owned 353,034,945 shares, amounting to around $54,683,349,314, which accounted for 6.17% of outstanding shares.
Based in New York City and spread out over 30 countries, BlackRock is the biggest asset manager in the world. Its assets under management amounted to approximately $9.42 trillion as of 30 June 2023.
BlackRock offers portfolio construction, enterprise risk and regulatory advising, as well as data, analytics, and financial modeling services.
The company recently focused heavily on US-based value equities, following recent optimistic economic data pointing towards the resilience of the US economy. This portfolio renosing is estimated to have shifted about $5 billion into value-factor based ETFs.
State Street Corporation
State Street Corporation had 183,554,964 Alphabet (GOOG) shares, valued at around $28,431,746,933. This was approximately 3.21% of outstanding shares.
Founded in 1792 and based in Boston, Massachusetts, State Street is one of the oldest US banks and another major global asset manager.
Its assets under management reached $3.7 trillion in 2023, making it the biggest custodian bank globally.
It forms part of the Big Three index fund managers with Vanguard and BlackRock. State Street offers markets and financing, investment management, and investment services.
The company recently promoted Michael Eldrige to UK country head. It also plans to advance and simplify its business operation services in India, taking full ownership of its HCLTech joint venture sometime in the first half of this year.
Fidelity Investments owned 2.1% of GOOG outstanding shares, or 120,234,117 shares, worth around $18,623,664,066.
Founded in 1946, Fidelity Investments, like State Street, is also based in Boston, Massachusetts. As of December 2022, its assets under management came up to approximately $4.3 trillion.
Fidelity is well-known for its brokerage firm, while it also offers fund distribution advice, index funds, mutual funds, wealth management, and life insurance services.
The company recently made it on the Investor’s Business Daily’s Best Online Brokers list for the 12th year in a row. It also announced that it would offer a financial services course, in partnership with the University of Rhode Island.
T.Rowe Price Associates
T.Rowe Price Associates held 1.89% of GOOG outstanding shares, or 108,036,557 shares, amounting to about $16,734,322,958.
Started in 1937 and based in Baltimore, Maryland, the company is another well-known and established investment management firm.
It offers retirement plans, funds, and sub-advisory services, and prefers to adopt a more active investment management style, instead of passive management.
Who Founded Google?
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, computer science degree classmates at Stanford University in Stanford, California, founded Google in 1998.
The company kicked off as a research project back in 1996 when the co-founders were Ph.D. students. It also had a little-recognized third founder, Scott Hassan, who created much of the initial Google code, but left before the company was formally incorporated.
The company, initially dubbed BackRub, started off by receiving $100,000 in funding in August 1998, from the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Andy Bechtolsheim.
Currently, Google is owned by a combination of retail investors, institutional investors, and company insiders. Institutional investors own about 62.44%, whereas retail investors account for another 33.98%. The company’s insiders own only about 3.59% of the stock.
As of 31 December 2021, 64 shareholders held Class B shares, whereas 4,907 entities owned Class A shares. There were about 1,733 Class C shareholders.
Class A shares are voting shares with one vote per share, which investors can exercise at shareholder meetings. Class C shares do not have any voting rights.
On the other hand, Class B shares are only for insiders and come with 10 votes per share. They are also not traded publicly and as such, do not have a ticker symbol.
In this case, insiders refer to the company’s co-founders, directors, and other senior managers, as well as other entities who may hold 10% or more of the company.
As such, Alphabet has only two different tickers on most stock exchanges, GOOGL for Class A shares and GOOG for Class C shares.
Role of Institutional Investors
Institutional investors collect money from several parties, to invest it across a range of assets and maximize their gains. By involving several clients in this fund collection process, institutional investors have the advantage of capital volume, which can open access to several investments and give them a significant stake in top companies.
Institutional investors also help maintain corporate governance, reporting, and transparency standards in several companies they have a stake in.
They can voice their opinions more assertively due to their shareholdings, resulting in a better chance of influencing the direction and decision-making of certain companies.
Due to their significant holdings in various financial assets, institutional investors substantially impact the stock market. As such, private and smaller investors usually tend to mimic institutional investors’ actions when it comes to buying or selling a particular stock.
Hedge funds, asset managers, and mutual funds are all examples of institutional investors.
As such, it permeates almost every aspect of our lives through various functions and applications such as Google Search and Google Maps.
It is owned by numerous individual and institutional shareholders, including Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Sundar Pichai, the Vanguard Group, and BlackRock.
Who is the largest shareholder of Alphabet?
Who are the main investors of Alphabet?
Who is Alphabet Inc owned by?
What percentage of Google does Larry Page own?
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