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Tesla shareholders: Who owns the most TSLA stock?

By Nicole Willing

Edited by Vanessa Kintu


Updated

Tesla logo atop of a Tesla Dealership illuminated at night.
Who owns the most TSLA stock? – Photo: JL IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla (TSLA) has been a favourite of retail stock investors betting on the clean energy transition and admirers of the company’s often-controversial CEO Elon Musk.

With a market capitalisation of around $635.37bn at the time of writing (2 March), Tesla was the world’s seven-largest company by value. The company launched its shares on the stock market in June 2010 at $17 a share; a decade later the stock was trading around $1,000 – a gain of more than 5,700%.

The share price soared as the company expanded its manufacturing capacity and vehicle sales, peaking at an all-time high in November 2021. However, the price dropped by 51% in 2022 as financial markets sold off heavily and the stock has lost some of its lustre since Musk acquired social media platform Twitter.

Tesla (TSLA) live price chart

Tesla split its stock in August 2020, allocating investors five shares for each share they held at that time. On 25 August 2022, the company’s shareholders approved a second stock split, this time on a 3-for-1 basis.

By increasing the total number of shares in circulation, a stock split does not affect a company’s market value. It reduces the price for each share. This can make a stock more attractive to retail investors with small portfolios, especially if their brokerage does not allow them to buy fractional shares. 

In its US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, Tesla said that a second stock split would help attract and retain talent through its compensation packages.

“We believe the stock split would help reset the market price of our common stock so that our employees will have more flexibility in managing their equity, all of which, in our view, may help maximise stockholder value. In addition, as retail investors have expressed a high level of interest in investing in our stock, we believe the stock split will also make our common stock more accessible to our retail shareholders.”

How much of Tesla’s stock do retail investors own? And how does that compare to insider ownership and institutional investment in the company? 

If you’re considering investing in the EV company, it’s important to understand who owns the most shares. The biggest Tesla shareholders can move the share price if they buy or sell large volumes of the stock, affecting the value of your position.

Who owns Tesla stock?

Tesla has a total of 3.16bn shares outstanding, according to data from Nasdaq. Who are the stakeholders of Tesla? 

Retail investors accounted for the largest block of shares at around 1.36 billion, or 43.16%, as of 2 March, according to WallStreetZen. Institutional investors accounted for 42.84% of stock ownership, totalling 1.35 billion shares, down from a 43.01% share late last year. Company executives held 14% of the stock, or 442.8 million shares.

TSLA shareholders

Tesla differs from its peers in the automotive industry as company insiders have a substantial holding in the stock. US automotive manufacturer Ford (F) has an insider shareholding of just 2%, while executives at General Motors (GM) hold 12.8% of their company’s stock.

Who owns the most shares of Tesla? Elon Musk is Tesla’s largest individual shareholder, owning 412.6 million shares, representing 13.04% of the stock. This valued Musk’s stake in the company at $84.89bn. Other Tesla executives hold less than 1%.

Institutional investors hold less of Tesla’s stock than some of its key competitors. Institutions hold around 80% of General Motors’ stock, more than 62% of Rivian (RIVN) and more than 50% of Ford, according to WallStreetZen.

The institutional investors that own the largest stakes in Tesla include investment advisors and managers, banks, financial services firms and asset management companies. As a group they account for the largest portion of Tesla’s shares and can have the ability to impact the share price.

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Tesla’s largest institutional investors

Vanguard Group, Blackrock (BLK) and Capital World Investors are among the top institutional shareholders of Tesla, accounting for a combined 15% of its outstanding shares. Let’s take a look at Tesla’s five largest institutional investors and their reasons for holding the stock.

Vanguard Group

Based in Pennsylvania, investment advisor Vanguard Group owns the largest stake among institutional Tesla shareholders, with 6.89% ownership valued at $44.28bn.

Established in 1975, the company is the world’s second largest asset manager behind Blackrock, according to ADV Ratings’ list of the world’s top asset management firms. Vanguard provides a range of investment products, and advisory and retirement services to individual investors, institutions and financial professionals.

Vanguard was at the forefront of creating index-tracking mutual and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to make stock markets easily accessible for retail investors. Such funds track the performance of a benchmark index such as S&P 500 (US500) or US Tech 100 (US100) and allow investors to gain exposure to the markets without having to extensively research and invest in individual stocks.

As of 31 January, Vanguard had more than 30 million investors and offered 431 funds worldwide – around half in the US. The company had more than $7.2trn in assets under management (AUM) as of 30 June 2022.

Vanguard’s investment products include the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT), and Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI). Vanguard funds hold Tesla stock as part of their market capitalisation-weighted index strategies.

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Blackrock

Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, is the second-biggest institutional investor in Tesla with a 5.62% stake valued at $36.56bn.

Founded in 1988, the New York-based firm has a mix of institutional and retail clients worldwide. Its investment product offerings include multi-asset portfolios investing in equities, bonds, real estate and money market instruments.

Since 2020, the company has increased its focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and the transition to net zero carbon emissions, making Tesla a fitting investment. As of 30 June, Blackrock had AUM of $8.5trn.

State Street Corp

US-based financial services and bank holding firm State Street Corporation has overtaken Capital World Investors as Tesla’s third largest institutional investor, with a 3.13% stake of 98.99 million shares.   

State Street was incorporated in 1969 but traces its roots back to its predecessor Union Bank, which was founded in 1792 in Boston. State Street had $4.1trn in AUM at the end of 2021. The company said in its 2021 annual report that its strategic focus involves refining its offerings to meet increasing client demands around ESG, as well as private markets, enhanced data aggregation and analytics and efficient operating models.

Geode Capital Management

Geode holds a 1.55% stake in Tesla, with 49.1 million shares. Geode was spun off from Fidelity Investments as an independent company in 2003, having been formed in 2001 to develop and run new equity strategies. Geode acts as a systematic asset manager, providing clients with a clear investment process focused on risk-adjusted performance in stocks, options and commodities. Geode is focused on growth and value stocks, driving its investments in Tesla.

Geode plays a sub-advisory role to index funds and other funds sponsored by Fidelity Investments and its affiliates. The firm reached $1trn in AUM at the start of 2022, driven by the growing popularity of index funds among investors.

Capital World Investors

Capital World Investors holds a 1.53% stake in Tesla worth $9.96bn, down from a 3.5% stake earlier this year. It held just over 90.1 million shares at the end of September, making Tesla the company’s largest holding at 5.3% of its portfolio, according to an SEC filing.

The private equity firm is one of the oldest in the US, having been founded in 1931 in Los Angeles. Capital World Investors is an equities-focused branch of investment management firm Capital Group. The company had an AUM of around $2.7trn at the end of 2021.

Capital Group offers a range of investment products to its clients, including over 40 mutual funds, as well as separately managed accounts, collective investment trusts, and investment services for high-net-worth individuals. Capital Group prioritises active management strategies.

Biggest individual Tesla shareholders

Who are the individuals with the most ownership control over Tesla? Let’s look at the top three insiders. 

Elon Musk

As Tesla’s largest shareholder with a 13.04% stake, Musk can have a strong influence over the direction of the share price. The stock fell in value in November 2021 after Musk sold 10% of his holding following a Twitter poll in which he asked whether he should sell some of his shares to pay taxes.

The share price fell again in 2022 as Musk sold more shares to finance his acquisition of social media platform Twitter, and investors have become concerned about his role in managing both companies at the same time. Musk’s stake in Tesla has fallen – his holding accounted for around 17% of the stock in February 2022. SEC filings show that Musk sold shares several times last year.

The share of retail investors in the company has increased as Musk has sold off some of his stock on the public market.

In the past Musk has prompted spikes in Tesla’s share price volatility by suggesting the stock is overvalued. 

The bottom line

The volatility in the TSLA share price in response to actions of the largest Tesla shareholders shows the importance for retail investors to understand the company’s share ownership.

Large investors can have a substantial influence over the future performance of a company stock, which can in turn affect the value of your investment.

However, a company’s individual and institutional share ownership is only a small part of the picture and should not be the main reason for your decision to buy a stock.

Whether TSLA is a suitable investment for you depends on a number of personal factors, including 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.

FAQs

How many Tesla shares are there?

Tesla has a total of 3.16bn shares outstanding, according to data from the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

How many shareholders does Tesla have?

Tesla has 2,995 institutional shareholders, according to Nasdaq data, in addition to individual investors and company executives.

Who owns Tesla?

As of 2 March, institutional investors accounted for 42.84% of Tesla’s share ownership, retail investors accounting for 43.16% and company executives holding 14%.

How many Tesla shares does Elon Musk own?

Elon Musk is Tesla’s largest individual shareholder with 412.6million shares, representing 13.04% of the stock.

Markets in this article

TSLA
Tesla Inc (Extended Hours)
239.25 USD
-11.34 -4.530%
BLK
BlackRock
831.08 USD
1.83 +0.220%
F
Ford Motor Co (Extended Hours)
14.02 USD
-0.58 -3.990%
US500
US 500
5507.2 USD
-45.3 -0.820%
US100
US Tech 100
19526.6 USD
-224.4 -1.140%

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