ARK Invest founder and CEO, Cathie Wood, has resigned her role as portfolio manager at two of the investment manager’s exchange-traded funds, according to a regulatory filing.
William Scherer, who has been a trading manager at ARK since 2014, has been appointed as of September to handle investments in place of Wood for the company’s two index funds, ARK 3D Printing ETF (PRNT) and ARK Israel Innovative Technology ETF (IZRL). . .
The 3D printing focused fund has a net worth of approximately $196.7 million, while ARK Israel has approximately $115.4 million in assets under management. Wood will continue to serve as Chief Investment Officer and portfolio manager of the actively managed vehicles.
Ark confirmed the role change to Yahoo Finance, but did not comment after the submission.
Wood’s transfer of the roles to Scherer follows a series of high-level management shifts at ARK Invest – steps that could indicate early stages of a succession plan for ARK.
Until the promotion earlier this year of two analysts, Sam Korus and Nicholas Grous, to associate portfolio managers, 66-year-old Cathie Wood was the sole portfolio manager for all nine of ARK’s ETFs.
Earlier this month, the company was assigned a new position that was eventually filled by its research director Brett Winton, who was named the first-ever “head futurist” at ARK — a change that also sparked discussions. Winton could be a potential successor to Hout.
ARK has criticized the extent of Wood’s responsibilities at the company as it has no heir in case she can no longer oversee its operations.
“A key person’s risk is compounded by the company’s inability to develop and retain talent,” Morningstar’s Robby Greengold claimed in an April note, also highlighting that Winton’s years of industry experience did not include portfolio management. “Many of its analysts have come and gone, and most of the nine remaining have no deep industry experience.”
According to his biography on ARK’s website, Scherer worked directly with ARK’s CIO, COO and research team to implement the desired investment strategies and has been responsible for managing the rebalancing of ARK’s indexed portfolios since its inception.
The ARK 3D Printing ETF is down nearly 41% so far in 2022, and the ARK Israel Innovative Technology ETF is down nearly 38% so far. The losses pale in comparison to ARK’s flagship Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), which is down nearly 60% in 2022.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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