ETFS Capital Owner Seeks WisdomTree Board Seat

Graham Tuckwell has opened discussions on shaking up the ETF issuer’s management.

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Graham Tuckwell, the chairman of ETF.com parent company ETFS Capital, is aiming to take a seat on the board of WisdomTree Investments.

In regulatory filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Tuckwell disclosed that he has been engaging with the issuer regarding what he describes as underperformance under the oversight of CEO Jonathan Steinberg and existing members of the board. WisdomTree has “been unwilling to date to work constructively” toward giving him a seat on the board since discussions opened, the filing read.

WisdomTree is the 10th largest ETF issuer in the U.S., with more than $47.67 billion in assets under management as of last Friday. The company was trading at $9.00 per share as of the close of the acquisition on April 11, 2018 and briefly traded as high as $11.66 in May of that year, but has traded under the $9 level since July 2018.

 

 

ETFS Capital is the largest stakeholder of WisdomTree, according to its regulatory filing, holding 10.5% of the voting shares, as well as a further 14,250,000 of preferred stock.

Then known as ETF Securities, the firm acquired its stake in WisdomTree through the sale of its European and North American asset management businesses in 2018. Tuckwell was restricted from seeking management changes for three years as part of the deal.

Tuckwell is expected to continue discussions with WisdomTree but reserves the right to bring the case in front of shareholders at the firm’s next annual meeting, the filings read.

ETFS Capital declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday morning.

In a statement, WisdomTree acknowledged ETFS Capital’s filing, but did not directly address Tuckwell’s claims.

 

Contact Dan Mika at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter

Dan Mika is a reporter for etf.com. He has previously covered business for the Ames Tribune and Cedar Rapids Gazette in Iowa, and BizWest Media in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dan holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Truman State University.