(Bloomberg) -- Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management has acquired a fellow exchange-traded fund issuer in its biggest push yet into Europe’s nascent market for trend-driven investing.
Ark, which has roughly $25 billion in assets, purchased thematic issuer Rize ETF Limited from United Kingdom-based asset manager AssetCo, according to a press release Tuesday. Rize managed more than $450 million across its 11 ETFs through the end of August, the release said.
With its first-ever acquisition of a money manager, Ark is seeking to tap into the region’s “growing appetite for active ETFs,” according to Ark’s website. Europe’s ETF market has grown to $1.6 trillion, compared to less than $500 billion a decade ago, Bloomberg Intelligence data show.
As part of the deal, Rize’s name and brand will be phased out in favor of “Ark Invest Europe,” which will serve as the hub for Ark’s expansion into Europe and the UK. Ark declined to provide details on how much it paid to acquire the issuer.
Ark’s purchase of Rize is one of several similar moves across the industry in the increasingly saturated ETF market, which houses roughly $7.4 trillion across nearly 3,300 US-listed funds. TCW Group announced plans to buy Engine No. 1’s $600 million ETF franchise in July to break into the business. In 2022, AXS Investments LLC acquired ETFs from Tuttle Capital and Change Finance in an effort to gain scale.
In April, Ark filed an application for a US-listed spot Bitcoin ETF with crypto firm 21Shares, and Wood is an independent board member at the company.
Meanwhile in Ark’s largest market — the US — demand for investing in themes including self-driving cars, cannabis and space exploration has cooled dramatically over the past two years after the pandemic-era boom. A record $2.7 billion has exited thematic ETFs so far in 2023, following a $2.4 billion exodus last year.
Read more: ‘Thematic Fatigue’ Hobbles Once-Hot Slice of ETFs With Outflows
“We believe that the European ETF market presents a strong growth opportunity as new and younger investors continue to gain access to ETFs via the growth of digital platforms, and as active ETFs increase market share by meeting the demand for innovative investment exposures,” Ark founder Wood said in Tuesday’s release.
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