ARK Invest founder and CEO Cathie Wood has stepped down from her role as portfolio manager at two of the investment management firm’s exchange-traded funds, according to a regulatory filing.
William Scherer, who has served as ARK’s trading manager since 2014, has been appointed to handle investments instead of Wood for the company’s two index funds, ARK 3D Printing ETF (PRNT) and ARK Israel Innovative Technology ETF (IZRL) starting September . .
The 3D printing fund has a net worth of approximately $196.7 million and ARK Israel has approximately $115.4 million in assets under management. Wood will continue to be chief investment officer and portfolio manager of the actively managed vehicles.
Ark confirmed the role change to Yahoo Finance but did not comment beyond the filing.
Wood’s handover of the roles to Scherer follows a series of high-level management changes at ARK Invest — moves that could suggest the early stages of a succession plan for ARK.
Until the promotion of two analysts earlier this year, Sam Korus and Nicholas Grous, to associate portfolio managers, 66-year-old Cathie Wood was the sole portfolio manager for ARK’s nine ETFs.
Earlier this month, the firm announced a new position ultimately filled by its research director Brett Winton, who was named as ARK’s first-ever “chief future” — a change that also sparked talk of Winton’s potential successor. Wood.
ARK has criticized the extent of Wood’s responsibilities at the firm because there is no heir to the fortune itself in the event that she can no longer oversee operations.
“The key person risk is worse than the firm’s inability to develop and retain talent,” Morningstar’s Robby Greengold asserted in an April note, which also pointed out that Winton’s years of industry experience did not include portfolio management. “Many of its analysts have come and gone, and most of the remaining nine lack deep industry experience.”
According to his biography on the ARK website, Scherer worked directly with ARK’s CIO, COO, and the research team to implement desired investment strategies and has been responsible for managing the rebalancing of ARK’s indexed portfolios since their inception.
The ARK 3D Printing ETF is down nearly 41% year to date in 2022, and the ARK Israel Innovative Technology ETF is down nearly 38% year to date. The losses are small compared to ARK’s flagship Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), which has fallen nearly 60% in 2022.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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