Nikko Asset Management Takes Minority Stake in ARK Invest

Aug 4 2017 | 9:58pm ET

Global investment manager Nikko Asset Management has acquired a minority stake in active thematic ETF manager ARK Investment Management LLC, enhancing its exposure to disruptive innovation-focused investment solutions. 

The purchase gives Nikko exclusive rights to offer ARK’s products and investment strategies to investors in Japan and Asia Pacific, according to a statement Friday. ARK has served as a sub advisor to Nikko AM's Global Fintech Equity Fund, launched in Japan in December 2016 and now managing total assets of over JPY 75 billion as of July 2017. 

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although Nikko reportedly took an approximately 15% stake in ARK. Catherine Wood, ARK CEO and founder, remains majority shareholder while Resolute Investment Managers, ARK’s strategic partner in the U.S., remains a minority shareholder, the statement added. 

"The established expertise of our in-house investment team combined with ARK's strategies focused on disruptive technology and innovation enable progressive solutions for our clients,” said Nikko Asset Management president & CEO Takumi Shibata.

Launched by Wood in 2014, ARK utilizes an open research ecosystem to develop insights into disruptive innovation. The firm has launched five ETFs, including four active ones, investing in themes such as Deep Learning and Mobility-as-a-Service, and was among the first exchange-traded fund operators to invest indirectly into digital currency bitcoin in late 2015.  The company has $382 million in total assets under management, according to securities filings. 

Nikko Asset Management is based in Tokyo and manages some $182 billion in a wide range of equity, credit, multi-asset and alternative strategies.

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