Cathie Wood retains majority ownership of Ark Invest following bid for control by minority shareholder

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Cathie Wood is the CEO and chief investment officer of ARK Invest, which runs three of the highest-returning stock ETFs of the last three years.

  • Cathie Wood, founder of Ark Invest, has retained control of her asset management company that focuses on investing in innovative and disruptive companies.
  • Ark’s distributor, Resolute Investment Managers, had sought to exercise an option it acquired in 2016 to purchase a controlling voting and equity interest in the company.
  • ARK Invest has repurchased the option from Resolute for an undisclosed amount and will continue to utilize Resolute to help distribute its ETFs and mutual funds, according to a statement.
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Cathie Wood will retain control of her asset management company that has made waves in the investment industry over the past few years.

Ark Invest, which was founded by Wood in 2014, entered a month-long battle for controlling interest in the firm after its distributor sought to take control of the company via an option it acquired in July 2016.

ARK Invest offers ETFs, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles such as separately managed accounts that invest in companies enabling disruptive innovation in fields like artificial intelligence, genomics, and cryptocurrency.

After its founding, ARK saw little uptake in its investment products by professional investors, so it hired Resolute Investment Managers to help distribute its ETFs and mutual funds. As part of the distribution deal struck in 2016, Resolute acquired a minority stake in Ark Invest and an option that gave it the right to acquire a controlling stake in the company in early 2021.

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With strong inflows into Ark Invest products over the past couple of years, due in part to ARK’s stellar performance and its track record for investing early in companies like Tesla, Resolute’s option to acquire a majority stake in the company became more attractive.

According to an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, Wood said Ark Invest now manages $50 billion in assets.

“Our business is very profitable,” Wood told Bloomberg. Ark’s flagship fund, the ARK Innovation ETF, alone generates annual revenue of $67 million based off of its AUM as of September 30. The ETF has surged 166% year-to-date as of Thursday’s close. 

As part of the agreement, Ark Invest has reacquired the option from Resolute for an undisclosed sum. Wood will remain the firm’s majority shareholder, and Ark Invest will retain Resolute’s distribution services for its products in a long-term agreement. Length of the distribution agreement was not disclosed.