Portfolio, Investing & the MarketsAbigail Johnson, Fidelity Investments’ president, CEO andchairperson, stands out as the leader of a financial powerhouse. Since Johnson became CEO in late 2014, total assets atFidelity have doubled to $10.2 trillion. Plus, the discretionaryportion of these assets grew 86% over this time period to $3.9trillion by year-end 2020.
Under Johnson’s leadership, Fidelity launched fractionalshare trading well before other traditional financial firms didso. Fidelity also has embraced digital assets, creating a digitalassets platform for custody and trade execution and introduced a Bitcoin fund for wealthy investors.
Chamath Palihapitiya,CEO of Social CapitalHedosophia Holdings,former Facebook executive and venture capitalist, is the individual mostassociated with the surgeof special purpose acquisition companies, orSPACs, which raise capital through initial publicofferings to buy existingcompanies. Close to 250SPACs went public lastyear, raising over $83 billion — a number that’salready been exceededthis year by almost $5billion, according toSPAC Research.
Palihapitiya has said he’s reserved the tickers IPOA throughIPOZ for his SPACs and told Fortune magazine in 2020 thathis ambition for Social Capital is for it “to be our generation’sBerkshire Hathaway.” He has launched multiple SPACs since2019 and plans to take robo-advisor SoFi public through a SPAC.
Cathie Wood, thefounder and CEOof Ark InvestmentManagement, hassingle-handedly revitalized the idea of therock star portfoliomanager, which prettymuch disappearedwith the explosion ofindex investing.
The old-fashionedstock picker not onlypresides over one ofthe fastest growingasset managers but also serves as its chief investment officer. Plus, she successfully battled minority owner ResoluteInvestment Managers to keep control of Ark.
The firm’s recent launch of the ARK Space ExplorationETF attracted nearly $200 million on its first trading day inlate March.
Larry Fink, like Cathie Wood, is the founder of the companyhe now heads as CEO — BlackRock, the world’s largest assetmanager with more than $8.7 trillion in assets. Fink has distinguished himself by encouraging other asset managers andcorporations to address climate risk, which he sees as a keyrisk for the global economy and for investments.
“Climate risk is investment risk,” wrote Fink in his
annual letter to CEOs last year, which he repeated in 2021,
adding that “climate transition presents a historic invest-
Fink sees a “tectonic shift” in passive investing when more
public companies disclose their carbon footprints, allowing
BlackRock and other asset managers to customize sustain-
ability indexes for investors. The recently launched BlackRock
U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF attracted $1.25 billion
on its first day of trading, more than any other ETF to date.