Why Cathie Wood is the fund manager of the moment | The Economist

Why Cathie Wood is the fund manager of the moment

Her hunt for the big business winners of the future holds mass appeal

CATHIE WOOD, founder of Ark Investment Management, provokes a variety of responses. The main one is envy. Her firm has been wildly successful. Ark manages a suite of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), portfolios of equities around the theme of “disruption”. Last year its flagship Ark Innovation ETF posted returns of 152%. It is now the largest actively managed equity ETF in the world. Ms Wood is the investment manager of the moment.

Fund flows follow performance. Ark's funds under management have ballooned to $60bn. Much of the commentary around Ms Wood's firm is around the difficulty of putting so much capital to work in Ark's narrow categories, while sustaining bumper returns. When you charge 75 cents for every $100 you manage, though, this is a nice problem to have. That Ms Wood has to wrestle with it is a mark of a singular success. She has found a way of selling an important concept-the extreme skewness of stockmarket returns-to a mass market.

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