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Ownership and Control 2022: Global Equities Concentration on the Rise

In 2022, the three most common types of strategic shareholders that we track — founders, families and state entities — were either the controlling or principal shareholder at nearly 50% of all MSCI ACWI Index constituents (as shown below). This is nearly twice as high a percentage as we reported in 2015, indicating a signficant increase in large ownership blocks. By comparison, the percentage of index constituents that were widely held declined from 41% to just 23%, dropping from 52% of total index market cap to 40%.

For investors, this growing concentration of ownership and control of global equities could result in a loss of influence, and make engagement with listed companies more difficult, which may also have important ramifications for how companies are governed.

Control level groups by index market groups

Data as of Feb. 1, 2022, based on the percentages of total market cap in USD. Combined, these three index groups comprise the full MSCI ACWI Index. Source: MSCI ESG Research

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