View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a710603
Mark Barnett: how I’m different to Woodford
by Dylan Lobo on Oct 18, 2013 at 12:30
We all knew it was going to happen one day but when it did it still came as something of a shock.
Once Wealth Manager realised the press release informing us that Neil Woodford had resigned from Invesco Perpetual wasn't a joke, our thoughts - with some sympathy - went to his heir-in-waiting, Mark Barnett (pictured).
The challenge is immense. Citywire AA-rated Barnett, who at 43 is 10 years Woodford’s junior, has probably had more column inches dedicated to him this week than the entirety of the last few years. He is now national news.
Barnett is not daunted by being thrust into the limelight and taking on the task in hand. ‘I’m very excited by the opportunity and the challenge. It’s a big promotion for me and I accept everyone is going to be watching me now but I’m not going to behave differently,' he told Wealth Manager.
In Barnett’s favour is the fact that he has worked alongside Woodford for almost two decades. ‘I’ve worked for the team for 17 years, I’ve sat next to him and had privileged access to him, so I’m in an unique position to preserve and build on his track record,’ he says.
In this time Barnett says he has learned a number of key things from Woodford and draws on two key lessons. ‘Neil has taught me how to be objective and about the need to be patient, take a long term view and cut out the noise so you can focus on what’s valuable within a business.
‘[He has] also taught me that the best interaction with companies is always done behind closed doors, around the meeting room table.’
What makes Barnett different
Barnett’s performance in recent years suggests he has paid close attention to his mentor.
In the last five years Barnett has returned 93.8% on his Invesco Perpetual UK Strategic fund versus a peer group average of 74.9%, earning him a Citywire AA-rating and outstripping A-rated Woodford’s aggregated return of 72.3% over the same period.
Part of this outperformance was due to a higher exposure to mid-caps and while Barnett says there are plenty of similarities between his and Woodford’s styles, there are also one or two differences. ‘Neil takes a stock view on how it translates to his macro view. While I do this to a certain extent I take a more pragmatic view at the stock level,' Barnett explains.
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