View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a749178
Neil Woodford: team complete and ready for launch
Former Invesco Perpetual star’s new firm has been authorised and his team is in place. Marketing of his new fund will start soon.
The City regulator has authorised Neil Woodford’s new firm, Woodford Investment Management, which means the former star Invesco Perpetual fund manager can start to market his new UK equity income fund to the public.
The authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority reveals the line-up at his firm for the first time.
Lamacraft co-managed the top performing Invesco Pan European Equity Income fund and was responsible for its UK holdings. Yesterday it was revealed he was joining along with Invesco Perpetual analysts Saku Saha and Paul Lamacraft.
Many of Woodford’s recruits are former colleagues from Invesco’s base in Henley on Thames, although one exception this week was the appointment of Russell Harrop, former director of global equity sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as an analyst.
At BoAML Harrop focused initially on Japanese equities and then moved onto the global desk where he produced a ‘best ideas’ portfolio of buy and sell recommendations
The triple exit prompted Martin Flanagan, chief executive of Invesco, to reassure shareholders that the group’s UK business would not be adversely affected by the departures.
‘We view these departures as very manageable,’ commented Flanagan who said Mark Barnett, Woodford’s successor on Invesco Perpetual’s Income and High Income funds, was still backed by a strong team. ‘They were junior people and they were not contributors to Mark Barnett’s excellent long-term track record.’
Invesco’s UK equity income funds suffered outflows of £2 billion in the first three months of the year. This did not include the loss of a £7.7 billion mandate from St James’s Place, around half of which has switched to Woodford.
Other known recruits at WIM are Gray Smith, Nicolas Hamilton and Craig Newman are partners as well.
Two non-executive directors have also been identified: Mary Reilly, a former audit partner at Deloitte where she was also head of charities; and Martin Walton, chief executive of life-sciences specialist Excalibur Fund Managers.
Walton is responsible for Excalibur’s investment and business activities, having joined the company in 2011 after a 25-year career as an investment banker and investor in medical and other sectors. He has run private-equity portfolios and hedge funds with assets in excess of £4 billion, and also worked extensively with sovereign wealth funds.
Reilly is also a non-executive member of the Department for Transport’s board, and was previously chair of the London Development Agency and sat on the board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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