The answer might surprise you.
Number 1 is Walmart – but the next eight are the major private equity houses through their vast holdings in investee companies. Think the likes of KKR, Carlyle, Blackstone, TPG etc.
It demonstrates the huge shift we are seeing in capital markets – a shift away from public companies to private organizations.
In addition, thanks to Geoffrey Garrett The Dean at Wharton School, the graphs below show that more companies are owned by PE than publicly listed.
The second graph shows that the value of publicly listed is greater, however this will most likely change over time.
The rise of ‘wealth’ funds of all kinds – sovereign, PE, mutual, hedge etc – is fueling this change.
In addition, the move to quarterly reporting and monthly benchmark of returns is accelerating the move away from public companies.
Publicly traded organizations have had to focus on short term results – no longer being able to look at longer term strategies.
Ironically, this a complete flip from ten years ago – now if you want to invest long term or restructure, being in PE’s hands is a better place to be.