So, who exactly are BP’s American owners? Here’s a partial list.
The company’s single largest shareholder is the sprawling asset management firm BlackRock, based in New York City, which owned the equivalent of more than one billion shares of BP stock just two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon blowout, according to the financial analysis firm Capital IQ. (Bank of America owns a 34.1 percent stake in BlackRock.)
The second-largest American owner, and third largest over all, is State Street Global Advisors, based in Boston, with 307 million shares. After them are the mutual fund firm Capital Research and Management Company of Los Angeles, with 247 million shares, and the Vanguard Group, based in Malvern, Pa., with 140 million shares. Rounding out the top five is Franklin Resources of San Mateo, Calif., another publicly owned asset management firm, with 131 million shares.
Then there are the banks: as of March 31, JPMorgan Chase held a respectable 76 million shares; Bank of America, 69 million shares; and Goldman Sachs, 42 million shares.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is another a major investor, with nearly 43 million shares.
BP’s share price has tumbled sharply since the well blowout began in the Gulf of Mexico two months ago, and it seems likely that many of these firms have divested themselves of at least some of their BP holdings since then. But at the very least, these stock holdings show clearly that BP was hardly an alien corporation stealthily invading United States waters and funneling the profits overseas.