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Even though Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has been around for almost a century and a half, it's still new to the investing public, choosing to stay private until its belated IPO in 1999. Institutional investors have nevertheless poured into Goldman Sachs stock over the past 16 years, fueling a 230% total return compared to the S&P 500's 114%.

Which institutional investors have benefited from Goldman's ascent? The answer can be found in the slideshow below, which reveals the five biggest owners of Goldman Sachs common stock right now -- as a side note, it's worth noting that Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) announced this morning that it reduced its position in Goldman's stock (revealed in the slideshow) by 13% last quarter. The Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway now owns approximately 2.6% of Goldman's outstanding shares.

One point in the slideshow that's worth noting is how much smaller Goldman Sachs' biggest shareholder is compared to rival investment bank Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). The biggest shareholder of Goldman Sachs, Vanguard, owns only 4.98% of the company. Conversely, Morgan Stanley's biggest shareholder, a Japanese financial company, owns 22% of the illustrious Wall Street firm. This suggests that Goldman Sachs' management operates with a freer hand than Morgan Stanley's does, as the former doesn't have to answer to such an equally concentrated and financially sophisticated stockholder.

To learn the four other companies that count themselves among Goldman Sachs' five biggest shareholders, simply scroll through the slideshow below -- a table with the raw data follows it.

Goldman Sachs' Biggest Investors

Number of Shares Owned

Value of Stake

Ownership Interest in Goldman Sachs

Vanguard

21.5 million

$4.3 billion

4.98%

State Street

21.5 million

$4.3 billion

4.97%

BlackRock

12.1 million

$2.4 billion

2.80%

Berkshire Hathaway

11.0 million

$2.1 billion

2.60%

Dodge & Cox

10.9 million

$2.1 billion

2.54%

Data source: Morningstar, Yahoo! Finance, Berkshire Hathaway, author's calculations.

John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.