View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a744646
St James's Place shifts £3.5bn funds to Neil Woodford
The St James's Place financial sales force deals a blow to Invesco Perpetual as it tries to cope without former star Neil Woodford.
The St James's Place financial sales force has dealt a further blow to fund manager Invesco Perpetual as it tries to cope with life without its former star employee Neil Woodford.
St James' Place has decided to follow Woodford and switch £3.5 billion in three funds to his new firm at Oakley Capital.
Woodford has run the St James' UK Equity , UK High Income and Income funds for much of his career and it was always likely they would follow him to his new venture. However, Invesco Perpetual would have hoped they could have stayed with Woodford's successor Mark Barnett, who is also taking on his giant Income and High Income funds.
The loss of the business comes on top of a steadly outflow of money by investors and advisers in Invesco Perpetual's flagship income funds since Woodford announced his departure last year. In New York shares in its Invesco's parent company fell nearly 3%, leaving them flat for the year.
Oakely Capital's head of retail Craig Newman said: 'We are delighted that St James’s Place wants Neil to carry on managing money on behalf of its clients, ensuring that their long-term relationship continues. It is a huge endorsement, not only of Neil, but also of Woodford Investment Management, which is currently seeking regulatory approval.'
In another setback SJP said it would also drop Invesco Perpetual from the £3.2 billion Strategic Managed fund and replace it with rival Threadneedle. A £700 million Global Equity Income fund also goes to Manulife Asset Management.
Founded by Lord Weinberg, St James' Place pioneered the use by insurers of external fund managers. Today it announced it would put £5 million into a new Emerging Markets Equity fund to be managed by Wasatch Advisors of the US.
St James' Place chief investment officer Chris Ralph said: 'This round of appointments and fund changes is the most significant and high profile in our 23 year history. These changes are important in terms of the number of clients affected and the scale of the assets involved.'
St James' Place (SJP.L) shares dipped a penny to 836.5p.
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