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Berkshire Hathaway shareholders: Who owns the most BRK stock?

By Nicole Willing

Edited by Vanessa Kintu

15:54, 17 October 2022

Berkshire Hathaway logo displayed on a smartphone
In 1955, Hathaway Manufacturing Company and Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company merged to create Berkshire Hathaway Photo: rafapress / Shutterstock

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s multinational investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) continues to outperform the broader US stock market, gaining 46% in the past five years, compared with a 39% gain for the S&P 500 Index (US500). Over the past year the difference is stark – Berkshire Hathaway’s share price has fallen 3% compared with a 20% drop in the value of the S&P.

The Omaha-based multinational conglomerate holding company is one of the largest in the US by revenue. Investors view the company’s stock as a way to gain exposure to Buffett’s investment portfolio and benefit from his long-term success.

Berkshire Hathaway has famously owned Coca-Cola (KO) stock since the 1980s and has built a 5% stake in Apple (AAPL). But who owns the most shares of Berkshire Hathaway?

How much of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock do insiders own, and how does that compare to retail and institutional investors? In this article we look at the breakdown of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

What is Berkshire Hathaway?

Although Berkshire Hathaway is associated with Warren Buffett, the company’s history goes back to two Massachusetts-based textile companies, the Hathaway Manufacturing Company and Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company, established in 1888 and 1889, respectively. The companies merged in 1955 to form Berkshire Hathaway.

As the company’s stock started trading before the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was founded in 1934, it was never required to file for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Buffett started buying Berkshire Hathaway stock in December 1962, as his strategy at the time was to buy stocks at low prices to sell for a profit. Berkshire Hathaway was closing mills as the textile industry was struggling, which would free up capital for the company to buy back shares, supporting the share price.

Buffett bought his first Berkshire Hathaway shares at $7.50 and was prepared to accept an offer from the company’s management to sell them for $11.50. However, the management then offered $11.375 a share. Buffett rejected the offer and instead bought a controlling stake in the company in 1965, replacing the management.

Buffett initially maintained Berkshire Hathaway's textile business but by 1967 he had expanded the company’s investments into other industries, such as insurance. Buffet has been Berkshire’s chairman and CEO since 1970, while Charlie Munger has been vice chairman since 1978.

By 1985, Berkshire Hathaway had closed the textile operations, completing its transition to becoming a holding company for Buffett’s investments and acquisitions.

Berkshire Hathway invests in or acquires undervalued or troubled companies and turns them around, allowing the management teams to run them as autonomous subsidiaries. The company has been filing SEC reports since the mid-1960s.

Today the company’s 65 subsidiaries include railway operator BNSF Railway, food chain Dairy Queen, battery manufacturer Duracell and insurance company Geico. 

It has also invested in 20 other companies, with substantial minority holdings of more than 20% in food manufacturer Kraft Heinz (26.6%), oil firm Occidental Petroleum (20.9%) and financial services firm American Express (20.2%), according to an SEC filing in August 2022.

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Who owns Berkshire Hathaway shares?

If you are considering investing in the company, it’s worth understanding its ownership structure and who owns the most shares. The trading activity of the biggest Berkshire Hathaway shareholders can move the BRK share price. If they buy or sell the stock in large volumes, it could affect the value of your position.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A share price has soared over the years to become the highest in the world, reaching an all-time high above $500,000 per share in April 2022. 

In 1996, the company listed its Class B shares on the NYSE, making access to the stock more affordable for retail investors. But who are the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway with the largest ownership in the company? How much of the stock does Warren Buffet own today?

BRK.A Class A shares

BRK.A 5-year stock price chartWarren Buffett owns 229,016 shares of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A common stock (BRK.A) and 276 shares of its Class B common stock (BRK.B), representing approximately 37.4% of the outstanding Class A shares and less than 0.01% of the outstanding Class B shares, according to an SEC filing. Buffett controls “30.9% of the aggregate voting power of the outstanding shares of both classes, and 15.6% of the economic interest of the outstanding shares of both classes,” the filing states.

Each share of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A common Stock can be converted into 1,500 shares of Class B common stock.

The company has more than 1,000 institutional owners and shareholders, with a total ownership of more than 100,000 shares, according to data compiled by Fintel and Nasdaq. Institutional investors account for 24.48% of BRK.A’s ownership, according to Nasdaq.

FMR LLC, which is US financial services firm Fidelity Investments, holds 5.16% of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A stock, owning more than 31,000 shares. Fidelity Contrafund holds over 18,000 shares. Fidelity holds the stock as a diversifier for its investment funds.


114.22 Price
-1.050% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.12


233.78 Price
-5.620% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.46


223.30 Price
+3.920% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.14


256.78 Price
-1.150% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.28

US-based investment advisory firm First Manhattan owns 18,754 BRK.A shares. First Manhattan’s founder, David Gottesman, was an early Berkshire Hathaway investor, having met Buffett in 1962.

US investment manager Black Swift Group holds more than 11,100 shares of BRK.A that it acquired during the fourth quarter of last year, based on its quarterly SEC filings.

US wealth management firm Edge Capital Group owned 10,947 BRK.A shares at the end of the second quarter, up from just eight at the end of the first quarter, filings show.

Investment funds have been adding to their holdings of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock this year, seeing its shares as relatively undervalued compared with its competitors.

BRK.B Class B shares

BRK.B 5-year stock price chart

Retail shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway are more likely to invest in the company’s Class B shares, which carry fewer voting rights but are priced at a fraction of the value of the Class A stock.

The majority of BRK.B stock is held by institutional investors, with 3,519 institutions holding more than 839m shares, according to Nasdaq data. Fund managers invest in the stock as an S&P 500 component and as a reliable investment with solid returns.

Vanguard Group leads Berkshire Hathaway’s biggest shareholders of its Class B stock. The asset management firm is the world’s second largest behind Blackrock, according to ADV Ratings. Vanguard provides a range of investment products, advisory and retirement services to retail and professional investors. 

As of 30 June 2022, Vanguard held more than more than $7trn in assets under management (AUM) from 30m investors and 411 funds worldwide. The firm held 135.49m BRK.B shares across its funds at the end of the second quarter, according to an SEC filing.

Blackrock is the second largest institution among Class B Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. The New York-based investment firm offers multi-asset portfolios investing in equities, bonds, real estate and money market instruments. 

As of 30 June, Blackrock had AUM of $8.5trn. The firm holds 101.1m BRK.B shares, an ownership stake of 7.8%.

Financial services firm State Street is the second oldest continuously operating bank in the US and had $4.1trn in AUM at the end of 2021. The firm owned 72.1m BRK.B shares at the end of June according to its quarterly SEC filing.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now the fourth largest BRK.B shareholder. In 2006, Buffett pledged 10 million BRK.B shares as a gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, to be transferred in portions of 5% of the balance annually. As of 2021, Buffett had contributed a total of $32.7bn to the foundation. Buffett was a trustee of the foundation’s board from 2006 to 2021. In January 2017, the Gates Foundation announced a plan to sell 60m of its BRK.B shares over three years to unlock the funds. At the time the Trust held more than 68.7m BRK.B shares, representing a 5.3% stake. At the end of the second quarter of 2022, the Trust held 34.7m shares, its quarterly SEC filing showed.

Geode Capital Management was spun out from Fidelity Investments as an independent company in 2003, after it was formed in 2001 to develop new equity investing strategies. Geode provides advisory support to funds sponsored by Fidelity Investments and its affiliates. 

The firm reached $1trn in AUM at the start of 2022, thanks to the growing popularity of index funds among investors. Geode is focused on growth stocks and value stocks such as Berkshire Hathaway, and held 30.9m shares in BRK.B as of 30 June.

The bottom line

It can be helpful for retail investors to understand who owns the largest stakes in a company’s stock, as large share sales and purchases can have an effect on the stock’s performance. You can keep track of the trading activity of Berkshire Hathaway major shareholders by checking its SEC filings, as regulations require companies to disclose substantial changes in share ownership.

However, you should know that the trading activity of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders is only a small part of the picture and should not be the main reason you decide to buy or sell the stock. 

Whether BRK.A and/or BRK.B stock is a suitable investment for you will depend on your investing goals, trading strategy, risk tolerance, and the size of your portfolio. It is essential that you do your own research before making any investment or trading decision. And never invest or trade money that you cannot afford to lose.


How many Berkshire Hathaway shares are there?

Berkshire Hathaway has two classes of common stock -- 619,940 Class A shares trading under the ticker BRK.A and 1.3bn Class B shares trading as BRK.B.

How many shareholders does Berkshire Hathaway have?

Berkshire Hathaway has around 1,000 institutional holders of BRK.A shares and 3,500 BRK.B institutional shareholders.

Who owns Berkshire Hathaway?

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett owns 37.4% of Berkshire Hathaway, which is a holding company for his investments.

Markets in this article

Berkshire Hathaway
434.99 USD
1.59 +0.370%
US 500
5429.1 USD
-11.4 -0.210%
Apple Inc (Extended Hours)
219.19 USD
1.04 +0.480%
Coca-Cola Co (Extended Hours)
65.97 USD
0.11 +0.170%

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