Top 5 Twitter Shareholders
Institutional investors dominated the list of Twitter’s top shareholders until April 2022, when Tesla (TSLA) Chief Executive Elon Musk disclosed his new 9% stake in the social media company. Musk’s purchase bumped to second place on the list mutual fund giant The Vanguard Group, whose funds held 8.8% of Twitter’s common stock as of year-end 2021.
Twitter, which operates the global messaging platform, was founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass. Twitter developer Glass had previously created a venture called Odeo, a failed pioneer in podcasting. He teamed up with the other three to build Twitter from the ashes of that venture.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder in April 2022.
- The other top shareholders of the social media company were asset managers Vanguard, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and State Street.
- Collectively, the top five Twitter shareholders own more than 37% of the company.
Twitter was, and is, distinguished from its competitors by the messaging brevity it enforces. Platform posts, known as tweets, are currently limited to 280 characters.
Twitter’s messaging platform had about 217 million daily active users as of Dec. 31, 2021, up 13% from a year earlier. The company generated $1.57 billion in revenue during Q4 2021—a 22% increase from the same quarter in 2020.
The company generates revenue primarily through advertising. Co-founder Dorsey served as CEO of Twitter from 2015 to 2021.
Below, we’ll look at the top five shareholders of Twitter based on the number of shares owned. Notably, Dorsey is not on this list, although he owns a 9.4% stake in mobile payments company Block Inc. (SQ), which he founded as Square and now leads as CEO.
1. Elon Musk
Musk, a frequent Twitter user, disclosed on April 4, 2022, that he held 73.5 million Twitter shares, representing a 9.2% stake in the company. The disclosure filing indicated it was triggered by an event on March 14, 2022. Investors are required to file an ownership disclosure within 10 days of acquiring a stake of 5% or more in a publicly-traded company.
Musk originally filed Schedule 13G as a passive investor, defined as a shareholder who does not intend to exert control of the company, but on April 5, Twitter named Musk to its board, and Musk submitted Schedule 13D to reclassify himself as an active investor. This filing also revealed that Musk had trimmed his holdings to 73.1 million shares, a 9.1% stake. Less than a week later, on April 11, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced Musk had decided not to join the board.
2. The Vanguard Group, Inc.
Vanguard Group holds the second-largest stake in Twitter. One of the biggest investment managers globally, Vanguard offers hundreds of mutual funds, ETFs, and retirement products. The company had about $8.1 trillion in assets under management as of Jan. 31, 2022.
Vanguard funds owned about 70.4 million Twitter shares representing 8.8% of shares outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2021. The Vanguard Communications Services ETF (VOX) and the Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG) are among the group funds holding Twitter shares.
3. Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (MS), an investment bank and asset manager, holds the third-largest stake in Twitter with about 67 million shares, 8.4% of the total outstanding as of year-end 2021. Morgan Stanley had $6.5 trillion in client assets as of the same date, after acquiring online brokerage E*TRADE in 2020 and mutual fund manager Eaton Vance in 2021. In addition to investment banking and asset management, the firm provides trading services and investment research.
4. BlackRock Inc.
Global investment manager BlackRock Inc. (BLK) owned 52.1 million shares of Twitter in its many exchange-traded funds and other investment vehicles as of year-end 2021, representing a 6.5% stake.
BlackRock had $10 trillion in assets under management as of the end of 2021. The firm issues the popular iShares ETF line. The iShares Evolved U.S. Media and Entertainment ETF (IEME) is among the BlackRock funds with Twitter holdings.
5. State Street Corp.
Institutional investment services provider State Street Corp. (STT), which operates the SPDR exchange-traded funds as State Street Global Advisors, held 36.4 million Twitter shares in its funds as of year-end 2021, representing a 4.5% stake in the company.
State Street offers a broad array of investment management services, including securities custody services for institutional clients. The firm held $4.1 trillion in investment assets under management as of Q4 2021.