Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B) is a multibillion-dollar holding company led by Warren Buffett. Bolstered by its insurance businesses, including GEICO, the company has created room to invest in other industries such as railroads, clothing, and jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have been rewarded mightily throughout the company's history, with shares consistently trading at over $300,000. As of November 2, 2018 market close, Class A shares were valued at $308,411.
On July 18, 2018, Berkshire Hathaway reported that the company had granted top employees more flexibility to spend cash by repurchasing shares. That means that CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger can now authorize buybacks when both see that the repurchase price is “below Berkshire’s intrinsic value.”
Berkshire released Q3 2018 earnings on November 3, 2018. The multinational conglomerate reported operating profits of $6.88 billion this quarter, compared to $3.44 billion over the same period last year.
Here's a look at the top institutional shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway class A stock.
FERI Wealth Management
FERI Wealth Management is the single-largest institutional shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway class A stock with 296,949 shares as of November 5, 2018. FERI's stake in Berkshire amounts to 18.15% of the company's outstanding stock and 1.69% of the investment firm's total assets under management.
FERI was founded in 1987 as the first independent provider for mid-size institutional investors in Germany. Now headquartered in Bad Homburg, the investment management branch of the firm services 300 family wealth funds and 200 institutional clients. As of November 5, 2018, FERI owns assets under management totaling approximately $38.65 billion.
Capital Research and Management Company
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Capital Research and Management Company is the second-largest institutional shareholder of Berkshire class A stock with 25,637 shares as of November 5, 2018. These shares represent 1.57% of Berkshire Hathaway's outstanding shares and 7.46% of Capital's holdings.
Capital is a privately-owned investment manager. Through in-house research and market analysis, the firm manages a diversified portfolio of investments including U.S. and international fixed-income securities, bonds, loan participations, mortgage-backed securities, and municipal bonds. Capital Research and Management Company is a subsidiary of Capital Group Companies, which manages the American Funds line of mutual funds and has an estimated $1.8 trillion assets under management as of November 2018.
Fidelity Management and Research Company
Fidelity Management and Research Company is the third-largest institutional holder of Berkshire's class A stock with 25,033 shares as of November 5, 2018. Fidelity holds shares of Berkshire Hathaway through its various funds, with the firm's total shares representing 1.53% of the company. These shares account for 24.27% of Fidelity Management and Research Company's holdings.
Like Capital Group, Fidelity Management and Research Company is a privately-owned subsidiary of investment management company Fidelity. Headquartered in Boston, Fidelity is one of the largest asset managers in the world, managing a portfolio of over $2 trillion as of November 2018. The firm is currently led by president and chief executive officer Abigail Johnson.
Norges Bank weighs in as the fourth-largest institutional shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway class A stock with 6,826 shares of the company on November 5, 2018. The shares account for 0.42% of Berkshire Hathaway's outstanding shares and 0.73% of Norges Bank's total assets under management.
Founded in June 1816, Norges (also Noregs) Bank is the central bank of Norway. In addition to carrying out the responsibilities of a traditional bank, such as financial stability and price regulation, it manages The Government Pension Fund of Norway. The investment management arm of the company holds stock in approximately 9,000 multinational companies.
AGF Security is the fifth-largest institutional shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway class A stock with 4,821 shares of the company as of November 5, 2018. The shares represent 0.29% of Berkshire Hathaway's outstanding shares and 1.30% of the firm's total portfolio.
Headquartered in Santiago, Chile, the Administradora General de Fondos (AGF) Security specializes in advisory services and investment management for individuals, companies, and institutions. Founded in 1992, the firm is a subsidiary of Chilean financial conglomerate Grupo Security.
Berkshire Hathaway Class B Shares
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) initiated class B shares in 1996 in response to the creation of unit investment trusts (UIT) which held the expensive class A shares. The trusts were designed to distribute units representing fractional ownership in class A shares, trading well above $20,000 at the time, which smaller investors could afford.
Berkshire Hathaway class B stock closed at $206.57 on November 2, 2018. The top five institutional shareholders of class B stock are, in order, Vanguard Group Inc, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Vanguard Investments Australia, Blackrock Fund Advisors, and State Street Global Advisors. The largest holder of class B shares, Vanguard Group, owns 129.3 million shares of the company.