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10 Most Successful Holding Companies in the US

The 10 most successful holding companies in the US have exhibited remarkable growth in their, ahem, holdings over the years, through thick and thin.

When we talk about holding companies, there are quite a few divergent definitions of the term. The most common type of company we associate with the term “holding company” is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A). Unsurprisingly, it’s the quintessential holding company, as it derives much of its wealth from its multitude of holdings and investments, some of which it helps manage and operate, while others it exerts little control over.

But there are also other types of holding companies. There is a setup called a bank holding company, which owns, but does not necessarily run, one or more banks. The biggest banks in America converted into holding companies during the 2008 financial crisis for liquidity and funding purposes, so we’ll see a lot of them in this list. Other holding companies seem to operate like conglomerates, with diverse businesses in which they have more direct involvement. We see this in fields such as media and telecommunications, in which a parent company has various holdings that conduct actual business operations.

Just to be clear, not all conglomerates can act as holding companies. In fact, some companies refuse to convert into holding companies despite shareholder pressure. For this list, we considered companies that are classified as holding companies by industry taxonomy systems such as the Standard Industrial Classification or the Global Industry Classification Standard. By accepting either standard, we’ve uncovered a few surprising entries.

For the purposes of this article, we measured the success of a holding company via the growth of its market capitalization between June 21, 2012, and June 21, 2017. We chose a...


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