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The 65-year-old Wood, a summa cum laude graduate in finance and economics from the University of Southern California, has made disruptive innovation her calling card ever since Ark Investment Management LLC became a registered adviser in January 2014 at a point when money management increasingly was a passive, index-driven business. Her focus on genome sequencing, robotics, artificial intelligence, energy storage and blockchain technology proved prescient: ARK Genomic Revolution has attracted record monthly inflows in December, bringing the fund’s new money total for 2020 to US$4.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Unlike most of her competitors, who rely on market benchmarks to determine the size of their holdings, Wood enabled ARK Genomic Revolution to increase 225 per cent, or US$5.2 billion in the most recent quarter, by purchasing an additional 1.5 million shares of Arcturus Therapeutics, keeping its weighting at 4.7 per cent. She added 7 million shares of Pacific Biosciences of California, raising its weighting to 7.1 per cent from 5.6 per cent, and boosted Twist Bioscience by 1.4 million shares, pushing its weighting to 5.9 per cent from 4.7 per cent. She reduced her Invitae Corp. holding to 3.6 per cent of the fund from 12 per cent and cut Crispr Therapeutics to 6.2 per cent from 8 per cent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
All of which proved her prowess for dynamic and transparent investing to the extent her ARK Innovation ETF, the second-best performer among the 367 funds this year with a total return of 159 per cent, dethroned JPMorgan in December as the largest actively managed ETF. Among ARK Innovation’s top three holdings, Palo Alto-based Tesla Inc. appreciated 696 per cent this year and contributed 39 percentage points to the fund’s performance; Roku Inc., the San Jose internet media company gained 154 per cent, or 11 percentage points, and Crispr, 9 percentage points.