Star stock picker Cathie Wood’s latest move is to Florida.
Her firm, ARK Investment Management LLC, said Wednesday that it will permanently close its New York headquarters at the end of the month and move to St. Petersburg, Fla., on Nov. 1. Known for its line of exchange-traded funds that invest in companies deemed disruptive and innovative in their industries, ARK said it aims to deepen ties with local entrepreneurs and technology startups by also building an innovation center.
“ARK is not a traditional Wall Street asset management firm and we are looking forward to breaking the mold further by relocating to St. Petersburg, a city investing in technology, science, and innovation,” Ms. Wood said in a statement.
Since launching ARK’s first funds in 2014, Ms. Wood has repeatedly sought to closely align herself in spirit and practice with the vibe of Silicon Valley rather than the traditional Wall Street financial firms she had cut her teeth on. She has made brash bets on stocks such as Tesla Inc. and cryptocurrencies, leading to one of the best performances by a fund manager last year. Several of her ETFs more than doubled in 2020, profiting off the focus on tech and growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Extending that hot streak has proven difficult; this year, ARK’s Innovation ETF has fallen into its own bear market, shedding 32% from its mid-February high. For the year, the fund is down 12%.
Most of ARK’s small staff will relocate to its St. Petersburg office, the firm said, and it plans to use the bigger space to scale up. ARK added it also is accommodating employees who prefer to work remotely.
As for the ARK Innovation Center, the firm said it plans to open the facility in July 2023. It will be located on 2.5 acres of property donated by the city of St. Petersburg.
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