Accelerates previously announced minority buyout obligation and announces related organizational changes......
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WisdomTree Investments, Inc., an exchange-traded fund and exchange-traded product sponsor and asset manager today announced it has accelerated the buyout of the remaining minority stake in its European entity and is making management changes to drive continued growth.
"We are fortunate to have built a strong foundation for growth in Europe through the efforts of Hector McNeil and Nik Bienkowski whose contributions led to the efficient build out of our platform throughout Europe. Over the course of just two years they assembled the team, the products and the infrastructure necessary for success in the competitive, fast-growing European ETP market," said Jonathan Steinberg, WisdomTree President and CEO.
WisdomTree's European platform has grown to approximately $940 million in assets under management today from an initial base of $50 million in 2014, with locally listed WisdomTree ETFs and Boost ETPs across the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.
Mr. Steinberg added, "We wish Hector and Nik continued success as they pursue new entrepreneurial initiatives, and we are extremely pleased to announce that David Abner will replace Hector and Nik to lead WisdomTree's European business in connection with the completion of the buyout. David's combination of ETF knowledge and his proven track record as a leader with strong relationships across WisdomTree's European and U.S. employee base make him the ideal person to spearhead our continued growth in Europe."
David Abner, presently Head of Capital Markets, will relocate to London in August. He has been with WisdomTree for eight years. Prior to WisdomTree, David led the buildout of BNP Paribas' ETF trading group in the U.S. He is a widely recognized ETF expert and author of The ETF Handbook (Wiley, 2010) and The Visual Guide to ETFs (Bloomberg, 2012).
Mr. McNeil and Mr. Bienkowski jointly stated, "It has been a pleasure to be a part of WisdomTree's important work in the European market. WisdomTree is a truly innovative and dynamic ETF manager with a bright future. We have greatly enjoyed our time here and wish everyone involved the best of luck for the future."
Agreement summary and update:
In January, 2014, WisdomTree announced its planned European expansion through a majority investment in U.K. based ETP sponsor Boost. WisdomTree Europe was formally established in April 2014 through the previously announced 75% ownership stake with an obligation to buy out the remaining minority investment in four years. In connection with today's announcement, the Company will take a charge of approximately $6.0 million or $0.04 per diluted share, in the second quarter to reflect the purchase of the remaining 25% stake and other related expenses.