Fintech Tifin Adds Cathie Wood to Board Amid Brokerage Expansion

Star ETF manager Cathie Wood is expanding her reach into the world of investing startups by joining the board of a fintech company.

The head of Ark Investment Management LLC will assist fintech platform Tifin as the company’s subsidiary Magnifi introduces commission-free brokerage services. Magnifi is a financial search platform that allows users to look for and compare investment options.

Vinay Nair, founder and chief executive officer of Tifin, said that Magnifi won’t resell order flow, but instead makes money from investment managers who pay for access to investors and some subscription services for users.

“We thought hard about how do you create capabilities for all this without creating incentives to get people to trade?” Nair said in a phone interview. “Our structure essentially generates no revenues from trading frequency, whether it’s direct commissions or order flow.”

Investors will still be able to connect Magnifi to various brokerage accounts at other firms, even as Magnifi works to set up its own brokerage services.

Tifin works with about 50 asset managers and was valued at $164 million in a series B funding round in April when it secured backing from investors including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morningstar Inc. and Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc., according to the company.

Wood has long been a fan of fintech and launched her ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF) in 2019. Since then, its price has risen 159% and it now contains $3.9 billion in assets. Wood also serves on the board of several tech companies, including 21Shares US LLC with whom she’s hoping to launch a Bitcoin exchange-traded product.

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