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Neil Woodford to relaunch through Oakley Capital

Neil Woodford is moving to Oakley Capital where he will get the help of serial entrepreneur Peter Dubens to launch his new firm.

Neil Woodford to relaunch through Oakley Capital

Neil Woodford, Britain's best-known fund manager, has forged an alliance with serial entrepreneur Peter Dubens to get his new firm off the ground

Woodford will join Oakley Capital, an investment firm founded by Dubens, in May as soon as his contract with Invesco Perpetual ends.

The move is a coup for west London-based Oakley whose website says it has over $1 billion (£610 million) under management. This is far less than the £30 billion Woodford has run in his Income and High Income funds at Invesco Perpetual and quite a bit less than the amount Woodford should attract when he launches his first fund.

However, in joining forces with Oakley Woodford gains access to Dubens, who has made his fortune launching and selling a string of businesses, including 365 Media Group and Pipex Communications. He started his business career in the Eighties sellling hypercolour t-shirts.

Woodford has previously backed Dubens as Invesco Perpetual, where he is head of equities, is the largest shareholder in Oakley Capital Investments, owning 30% of the AIM-listed private equity fund.

Woodford will set up a new company affiliated to Oakley. According to a statement from Oakley he will use its 'infrastructure' to establish a standalone investment boutique.

Dubens said: 'I am delighted Neil is joining and we fully support his desire to create his own transformational asset management business soon after joining Oakley Capital. We will fully support the transition and in the meantime we will provide an environment in which Neil can have the autonomy and flexibility to best serve the interests of clients.'

The news comes as Invesco Perpetual sells shares in a number of Woodford's holdings to geneate cash for the £2 billion or so that investors have withdrawn from his funds since he announced his resignation in October.  

11 comments so far. Why not have your say?

John Coles

Dec 19, 2013 at 10:56

Not sure I'll follow him - Anthony Bolton's second career comes to mind.

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Dec 19, 2013 at 11:13


If my memory serves me correctly Mr Bolton tried to make a comeback after he retired whereas Mr Woodward is merely changing jobs. For that reason I think that I will follow him.

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Dennis .

Dec 19, 2013 at 15:55

I am with John Coles on this one. This is reminiscent of Bolton where Fidelity used his name to attract funds. We need to see what Woodsford is proposing before blindly following.

There is also the issue of why he is leaving Invesco. It can't be for money as he must be a rich man by now and Invesco would give him anything he wants to stay including money and resources so what's going on?

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peter montgomery

Dec 19, 2013 at 16:28

Is this ethical? Cant see Invesco wanting to own 30% of their 'ex's'private equity fund for long. Another stock for the departure lounge.

I suppose ethics and morals cease to apply where personal enrichment is concerned.Looking at Black Bob Diamonds saddle mates on his African safari fund certainly shows a distinctly unappealing aspect of financial life.

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Dec 19, 2013 at 17:04

I'll wait and see where the market is, before "following" Mr. Woodford. Timing, if not all, is a lot .

To repeat his past performance,(which took years) He will have to invest lots of money in instruments currently owned by someone else.

In 2007/8/9 I took a strategic decision to liquidate many cash deposits, which HAD earned good returns and invest in some rock bottomish blue chips.some new and some topping up existing holdings, particularly in a couple of Investment Trusts.

So now I look a hero, with substantial returns and lots of CGT potential.

My point is this. There were two factors in this sucess, judgement and the state of the market. I simply could not repeat that sucess in todays market,( I'm just an ameteur)

So let's wait and see.

Terry Smith has done well with his funds, but again in a favourable market.

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lynne shaffer

Dec 19, 2013 at 17:07

I can see why he's going. He was probably bored and jaded by being on 1 job for so long!

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peter hart

Dec 19, 2013 at 17:08

I am with John and Dennis.

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Dec 19, 2013 at 19:22

I've been an investor in both IP income funds, I will be staying put. I'm grateful to Mr Woodford for his sterling work, I may put some money into his fund but I certainly won't be withdrawing any from IP to finance it.

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michael callender

Dec 20, 2013 at 09:49

I will watch from the sidelines

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Chartered Accountant

Dec 20, 2013 at 10:59

Having invested with Neil Woodford for over 20 years, I join other correspondents above in my gratitude for the excellent results achieved in that period. In particular, it is difficult when managing large pools of assets to trade into or out of entire holdings very quickly and equally it is impossible to hold the kind of concentrated portfolio of high conviction stocks as say Terry Smith has been able to do and this makes the results in spite of the size factor all the more commendable.

When a manager moves, the major issue is to ensure that the data flow of market and stock information may be maintained. Inevitably, it will be different from previous and perhaps long established procedures. When Anthony Bolton moved to managing Chinese stocks, he almost certainly was unable to replicate the kind of in depth company by company analysis or personal interrogation that he had been able to enjoy in UK and Continental Europe. I did not follow him for that reason.

Neil Woodford is not moving away from the markets in which he has made his name, but even for him, the information flows on which he has based his decisions, will inevitably change. However, of greater interest will be the new investment guidelines within which he may operate for the newly launched fund. I believe that until now, Neil Woodford has operated largely long-only portfolios and perhaps the new fund guidelines may allow him scope for significant shorting. Perhaps this may be the real driver for his move - simply the chance to take high conviction decisions with less inhibiting guidelines.

I have not reduced my personal holdings with Neil Woodford and I will expect to remain in his funds when the new manager takes over albeit I may move a portion to Neil Woodford's new fund when the investment guidelines become clearer.

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Dennis .

Dec 21, 2013 at 09:34

One point hidden in an FT article was that Oakley will be offering direct sales to retail customers so I wonder if this has an element of RDR behind it? The likes of Hargreaves Lansdown will be screwing margins at Invesco.

I believe that Terry Smith's Fundsmith model is gaining traction with a number of fund managers ie go ultra long on a small number of high quality stocks, reduce your costs and sell direct.

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