View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a751514
The bank which convinced Woodford to break 10-year habit
by Dylan Lobo on May 16, 2014 at 07:56
‘I need to balance this with managing large amounts of money but you will know much more about what I am doing. It won’t be shrouded in mystery anymore.’
Woodford said he would use tools like social media to communicate, so does this mean the man who shunned technology during the dot.com bubble is now a bull?
‘I’m neither a tech bull or bear. It’s fair to say a lot of tech companies are unbelievably attractive and not just in the biotech market.’
To demonstrate this Woodford has bought two Norwegian technology firms, one of which specialises in fingerprint technology. He is also a well-publicised backer of bid target AstraZeneca.
However, we are unlikely to see a big weighting in technology when his new Income fund launches on 2 June.
‘Throughout my career I’ve struggled to understand valuations in this sector. Yes Astra oozes technology, but it doesn’t have someone wearing jeans and a t-shirt representing it.’
Woodford also outlined the benefits of being able to create a new business from scratch in a more demanding regulatory climate.
‘It was not something I planned to do, I thought I’d see out my career at Invesco,’ he said. ‘But when I started to think about it, it was a no-brainer.’
‘On an idle Tuesday afternoon I’d talk to Craig [Newman – Woodford’s chief executive] and ask “If we are setting up an investment firm from scratch would it look like Invesco Perpetual?” The answer was “no”.
‘[So] The opportunity rose to start again and allow me to create something fit for purpose and give me the maximum time to run money. All the pull factors encouraged me to take a gamble and enter this scary new world and I am glad I did it. There’s a need for what we do and I am very focused on my job as a fund manager.’
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