Despite stock market declines in recent years, institutional investors increased their equity ownership in U.S. markets, according to the 2005 Institutional Investment Report from The Conference Board (New York). The report's most-recent data shows that institutions held $19.634 trillion in market assets in 2003, approaching the 1999 peak of $19.664 trillion. The equity control of institutional investors over the largest 1,000 corporations also increased, to 69.4 percent in 2004, up from 61.4 percent in 2000. "These investors tend to be the most activist in demanding corporate governance reforms and will continue to have a profound impact on every company," said Dr. Carolyn Kay Brancato, director of The Conference Board's global corporate governance research center, in a release.
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