Cathie Wood is an American investor who also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Information Officer of Ark Invest. Ark Invest is an investment management firm that focuses on investing in creative companies and disruptive technologies. She was born in Los Angeles, California, on November 26, 1955
In 1981, Wood graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and economics. Her most influential teacher was the economist Arthur Laffer, who taught her in several of her classes. 1977 was the beginning of her professional career, and she began working for Capital Group as an assistant economist. She remained with the company for a total of three years. After that, she made the move to New York City to accept a position at Jennison Associates, where she remained for the next 18 years in various capacities, including those of chief economist, analyst, portfolio manager, and managing director. Along with Lulu C. Wang, she established Tupelo Capital Management, a hedge fund with headquarters in New York City, in the year 1998.
In 2001, Wood became the chief investment officer of global theme strategies at AllianceBernstein, where he was responsible for managing $5 billion. She departed the company in 2014 as a result of AllianceBernstein's decision that her proposal for actively managed exchange-traded funds based on disruptive innovation posed an unacceptable level of risk. After that, she established an investment firm called Ark Invest, which takes its name from the Ark of the Covenant and focuses on making investments in breakthrough technology and businesses.
A substantial amount of attention has been drawn to Wood as a result of the investment tactics she employs and her positive outlook on disruptive technology. Matthew A. Winkler, who served as the editor-in-chief emeritus of Bloomberg News, awarded her the title of the greatest stock picker for the year 2020. As of the month of March 2021, two of Wood's funds were included on the list of the 10 largest female-run funds in terms of total net assets.
It was announced in 2021 that Wood had been chosen for the first-ever Forbes 50 Over 50 list, which honors businesspeople, political figures, scientists, and other innovators who are over the age of 50.
In December 2022, Wood's flagship fund, Ark Innovation, had underperformed the S&P 500 for the previous five years, losing more than eighty percent of its value since reaching its high point the previous year. This has led to some debate, and her investment approach has been called into question as a result.