Cathie Wood's ARK Invest accelerates European ETF push

Cathie Wood's ARK Invest accelerates European ETF push

Breaking into Europe's competitive exchange traded funds market has been a long-standing ambition for ARK Invest, the U.S. firm founded in 2014 by star portfolio manager Cathie Wood.

A decade after Wood broke out from AllianceBernstein to strike out on her own, her firm now oversees around $22 billion, a decline that is down from a peak of more than $60 billion in February 2021.

With the acquisition of hundreds of billions of U.S. investors, ARK has now shifted its focus to achieving similar success in the European market. On Sept. 20 it announced it had acquired Rize ETF, a London-based firm that aims to expand its presence in Europe.

The chief operating officer of ARK Invest, Tom Staudt, told the Financial News, is the chief operating officer of the company.

The acquisition of Rize, a top player in 11 European ETFs, will also see ARK work closely with City veteran Martin Gilbert, whose assets include Rize's majority stake in Rize. In 2021, AssetCo acquired a 63% stake in Rize with a net worth of £16.5 million.

River and Mercantile, which AssetCo acquired last year, will launch its own ETFs on Rize's platform.

ARK's acquisition of Rize was brokered in 'a matter of months', according to Michael ORiordan, who said that ARK's decision to acquire an existing ETF, rather than build a business from scratch in Europe, meant it got immediate access to boots on the ground and knowledge of the local market.

O'Riordan, who served as president of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1990, said: ''I don't know why.

The deal, which was created by a group of former Legal and General Investment Management professionals in 2019, will eventually see Rize renamed to ARK Invest Europe and provide the firepower needed to grow assets and gain a foothold with key distributors.

Staudt said that Os push into Europe is a logical next step. About 25 percent of emails, social media engagements and contacts originate from continental Europe and the UK.

Staudt said there are other partnerships outside the US market where it has had success, including a tie-up with Nikko Asset Management in Japan.

An expanded version of this story is available at FN