This story first ran in Financial Advisor IQ's sister publication, Ignites.
Ark Investment Management Chief Executive Cathie Wood has stepped off the firm's two index funds, in the third shakeup of the firm's portfolio management roster in as many months.
Will Scherer, until now a trading manager at the firm, has been appointed portfolio manager of the $192 million 3D Printing and $110 million Israel Innovative Technology ETFs, the firm disclosed Friday. Wood remains Ark’s chief investment officer, as well as portfolio manager on the firm’s actively managed funds.
In June, Sam Korus and Nicholas Grous were appointed associated portfolio managers. Until then, Wood was the firm's only PM. Earlier this month, Korus was reassigned as a research director, and Dan White, formerly a client portfolio specialist, was elevated to associate portfolio manager.
Ark has drawn criticism for potential key-person risk owing to Wood's centrality to the firm's fund management operations.
Last year, when Ark's funds were undergoing rapid growth and robust returns, Morningstar warned that Wood had become "essential to the firm’s continued success" and that the firm lacked experienced portfolio management talent beyond her.
Since then, Ark's returns have soured and fund flows slowed.
Altogether, Ark’s ETFs recorded net outflows of $5.2 billion during the year ended Aug. 31, according to Morningstar Direct. During that period, investors pulled $136 million from 3D Printing and $87 million from Israel Innovation Technology.
It’s unclear whether the latest appointments will assuage analysts' concerns over Ark's portfolio management inexperience. Scherer has been with Ark since 2014, his company biographiy says, where he has worked directly with Wood. Before Ark, he was as an intern at TIAA.