Early in her career when Wood worked at Jennison
Associates, she was given the opportunity to be an analyst.
She had to find her own stocks, or what she now calls “fall-
At that time in the 1980s, neither the technology nor pub-
lishing analysts on the team wanted to invest in the stock of
Reuters — then a database publishing company — but she did.
“Of course no one wanted it because they didn’t understand
this new thing that was happening … . It was called the internet
and was in its very, very early stages,” she told Benzinga CEO
Jason Raznick, during a recent video interview on the financial
website. “So I learned early on, if you have a good reason to
expect something to happen that nobody else expects, the odds
are high that you will do very well if you’re right.”
Many times since then, not only has Wood been right on
seeing big ideas early — and buying the disruptive companies
that bring them to life — she’s impressed individual investors
and Wall Street professionals to the point that they aren’t sure
how to define her. “The firm’s recent growth is unprecedented
among the upper ranks of the asset management industry,” wrote
Morningstar’s Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research, and
Bobby Blue, a manager research analyst, in a recent online report.
Ark’s track record demonstrates her style, talent and
(naturally) her investing moxie. For example, while at
AllianceBernstein in 2002, she invested in Amazon when it
had a $5 billion market capitalization.
“Every Monday morning I had to announce my trades,” shetold Raznick. “I announced Amazon, and you could have heard apin drop. It was right after the tech bomb went off, and Amazonwas down 85% from its peak. No portfolio manager wanted toadmit having held or recommended an internet stock.
“But we were convinced. At the time, I had three little kidsand had no time to shop. Did [Amazon have issues, yes] but Iwas delighted because I didn’t have to go to the store. And I justknew online was going to become a big deal,” Wood explained.
Today, 19 years later, Amazon has a market cap of $1.5 trillion.
Building the Ark
The firm Wood now leads — Ark — has five actively managedETFs and two index ETFs. The flagship Ark Innovation ETF(ARKK), with some $22 billion in assets as of early March,was launched on Oct. 31, 2014. The firm had about $45 billionof total assets under management on March 9, according toETF Database.
The Innovation ETF’s yearly returns have averaged about38% a year since inception, Ark says. In 2020, though, it
In the Top 10
ARK Invest eclipsed several large asset managers in the latest league table,but still has a ways to go to catch up to several of the industry behemoths.
AUM as of Feb. 28,
Year-to-date 2021 NetFlows (millions)
Feb. 2021 Net Flows
(millions) Percent of AUM
State Street Global Advisors $874,941.45 $8,509.96 $5,019.87 0.57%
Invesco $306,257.27 $6,809.06 $5,511.52 1.80%
Charles Schwab $212,688.80 $6,297.19 $2,909.80 1.37%
First Trust $117,575.19 $4,316.79 $1,832.73 1.56%
Van Eck $53,547.32 $1,274.41 $148.59 0.28%
JPMorgan Chase $53,006.70 $6,748.31 $2,858.07 5.39%
ProShares $51,377.34 $3,281.77 $2,600.82 5.06%
Ark Investment Management $51,134.51 $16,561.35 $8,288.23 16.21%
WisdomTree $40,734.57 $497.27 $101.38 0.25%
Mirae Asset $27,510.64 $6,166.29 $2,896.17 10.53%PIMCO $26,109.91 $375.30 -$121.20 -0.46%Fidelity $25,149.12 $958.67 $568.05 2.26%Goldman Sachs $22,555.72 $185.79 $20.72 0.09%