People Moves

ETFS Capital owner seeks WisdomTree board seat

ETFS Capital is the largest stakeholder of WisdomTree

Dan Mika

a man in a suit

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

In regulatory filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, Tuckwell (pictured) 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 tenth largest ETF issuer in the US with $47.7bn assets under management (AUM) and the ninth largest in Europe with $25bn AUM.

The company was trading at $9 a share as of the close of the acquisition on 11 April 2018 and briefly traded as high as $11.7 in May of that year but has traded under the $9 level since July 2018. It is currently trading at $5.6 a share, as at 26 January.

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 a 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.

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

This story was originally published

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