Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Who owns a slice of Xero pie?

Rod Drury. Photo / David White
Rod Drury. Photo / David White

A Facebook billionaire, an investment company tied to a charitable trust working with Australian Aboriginal communities, and TradeMe founder Sam Morgan are among the largest holders of Xero shares which have soared more than 500 per cent in the past year.

Rod Drury, the founder and chief executive of the online-accounting software firm, is its biggest individual shareholder and holds a 17 per cent share of the company, according to a Bloomberg register.

Based on Xero's closing share price on Friday, his stake in the company is worth $764 million.

Xero's second largest shareholder is Givia Pty, which holds 14.47 per cent.

Givia is a trustee of the Yajilarra Trust, which does a lot of philanthrophy work with Aboriginal communities, according to Xero chief financial officer Ross Jenkins.

Xero director Craig Winkler, who co-founded now rival accounting software firm MYOB in 1991, is also a trustee of Yajilarra Trust, Jenkins said.

Massachusetts-based venture capital firm Matrix Partners holds 9 per cent.

Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel, who also co-founded e-commerce business PayPal in 1999, is in Xero's top five with a stake of 6.69 per cent.

Hamish Edwards, who co-founded Xero with Drury, holds 4.54 per cent while Xero director and TradeMe founder Sam Morgan holds 4 per cent.

Fidelity Investments, a Boston-based financial services firm with US$1.7 trillion of assets under management, sneaks into Xero's top 10 with 0.62 per cent of the shares.

Blackrock, which calls itself "the world's largest asset manager" with US$3.8 trillion under its umbrella, owns 0.37 per cent of the shares. Auckland-based Milford Asset Management is within the top 20 with 0.11 per cent or 138,818 of the firm's shares.

- NZ Herald

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