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Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest Rocked as Shareholder Seeks Control

Claire Ballentine
·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- A fight for control has broken out at one of the biggest success stories in the exchange-traded fund world this year.

Cathie Wood, head of Ark Investment Management and manager of the wildly popular Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK) -- which almost doubled this year -- is combating a move from Resolute Investment Managers to purchase a controlling stake in her company, according to a regulatory filing. Resolute, which helps distribute mutual funds and ETFs including Ark’s products, acquired a minority investment in Ark in July 2016 and the option to purchase a controlling voting and equity interest, which is exercisable in early 2021.

Wood is “disappointed” that Resolute and its private equity owner, Kelso & Company, have issued this “unwelcome notice that they intend to seize control of our business,” she said in a statement. “We do not believe that equity ownership by a party tangential to our business is in the best interest of ARK’s stakeholders.”

Three days before the filing from Resolute on Oct. 29, Ark released a statement that it would explore the potential replacement of Resolute Investment Distributors Inc. -- an affiliate of Resolute Investment Managers -- to distribute its products.

Resolute declined to comment after a request from Bloomberg News.

Wood’s funds have skyrocketed in popularity amid bets on big tech companies such as Tesla Inc. She currently runs three of the 10 best-performing ETFs so far in 2020.

Her flagship fund ARKK has attracted almost $5.8 billion this year and has soared more than 180% from its March lows. It also crossed $11 billion in assets after its 37th week of inflows.

(Updates with details on fund performance in seventh paragraph.)

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