WisdomTree Adds Another Bold-Face Name

| About: WisdomTree Investments, (WETF)
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Former US Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt has joined the line-up of worthies – and others – at ETF sausage factory WisdomTree Investments Inc.

Two Three Four things:

  • Levitt is being given a stake in the company in exchange for his role, which he says has yet to be formally defined, according to The Wall Street Journal. Anybody else with gigs like that going begging, feel free to email me.
  • “I do speak to large groups of institutional investors, and when asked about ETFs - as I have been before - I would be prepared to define what makes WisdomTree an attractive alternative,” Levitt said. And if you could share with the rest of us, Artie, that would be great.
  • Given Levitt’s historic dedication to the concept of disclosure, perhaps he might have a chat with the CNBC mob about occasionally mentioning that WisdomTree’s chief executive is Mr Maria Bartiromo. WisdomTree bodies have been getting a somewhat disproportionate amount of face-time for an outfit that controls a few bps ($400 million out of $300 billion-plus) of US ETF assets without – and I may have missed it, in which case apologies all round – specific mention of that relationship.
  • Hell, Levitt might even have a mumble about getting the company out of the pinks and back on the regulatory high way. With its $292 million market cap – according to the not always entirely reliable Yahoo! Finance – it would be interesting to see some of the financials behind what appears to be a reasonably heady valuation. Especially given that it’s sucked up $16.5 million in new financing since Nov. 2004. Apart from anything else, in cruel irony, that means WisdomTree can’t be included in ETFs that demand listing on a recognized exchange.
  • Another recent hire, with a defined role it seems: Andrew T. Malloy, formerly chief investment officer of fund of hedge fund boutique TAG Associates, as director of institutional ETF sales. Which NakedShorts takes to mean that Andy’s calling on Bellevue, but I might have that wrong.

    Links below:

    ETF Firm Hires SEC Ex-Chairman [$$]
    by Tom Lauricella
    The Wall Street Journal Aug 15. 2006

    WisdomTree Investments Names Andrew Malloy Director of Institutional ETF Sales
    Press release, Jul. 24 2006

    WisdomTree Investments Inc (WSDT)
    (The stock’s down more than 40 percent since hitting $6.25 in early Jun. 2006. But it’s still up about a bazillion percent since the Nov. 2004 financing at $0.16 a share).

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