Neil Russell Woodford
March 1960 (age 60)
|Education||University of Exeter|
London Business School
|Known for||Fund Manager and founder of Woodford Investment Management|
Woodford was born in March 1960. He was brought up in Berkshire and attended Maidenhead Grammar School. His father was a printer. He graduated in Economics and Agricultural Economics from the University of Exeter in 1981.
Woodford began his career with the Reed Pension Fund and TSB. In 1987 he became a fund manager with Eagle Star, then moved to Invesco Perpetual in 1988. He has also pursued postgraduate studies in Finance at the London Business School.
Woodford ran the Invesco Perpetual Income, and Invesco Perpetual High Income funds, with respectively £10.36 billion and £13.64 billion in assets. Woodford was vocal over the 2012 proposed merger between British defence company BAE Systems and EADS, the European aerospace group, warning that unless there was a “substantial change” in BAE’s strategy, Invesco would have to consider “all options open to us”.
Woodford gained a reputation as Britain’s best fund manager during his 25 years at Invesco, where he avoided the worst effects of the 1990s dot-com bubble and the 2008 financial crisis. He regarded himself as an active, long-term investor, holding shares for an average of about 15 years.
Woodford Investment Management
In April 2014, Woodford left his role as head of UK equities at Invesco Perpetual to set up Woodford Investment Management LLP. In April 2015, he launched Woodford Patient Capital Trust, a listed investment trust. Woodford Investment Management launched a second Equity Income Fund in April 2017, LF Woodford Income Focus. Woodford owned 29% of the ill-fated Utilitywise.
In March 2019, after two years of poor performance during which fund assets contracted by more than £5 billion, the Sunday Times carried out an investigation into the fund. It found the fund held less than 20% of assets in FTSE 100 companies compared to over 50% when it was created, and over 20% of assets were in small Alternative Investment Market companies. On 4 June 2019 trading in Woodford Investment Management’s largest fund (the Woodford Equity Income fund) was suspended. There had been large withdrawals of funds by many investors. Following this, St. James's Place plc terminated Woodford's contract to manage three of its funds, valued at £3.5 billion. The FCA has launched a formal investigation into the suspension. A Woodford spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have been contacted by the FCA, regarding its investigation relating to the events that led to the suspension … and will be co-operating fully with its investigation.”
On 15 October 2019 the fund board announced that Woodford's flagship fund, Woodford Equity Income Fund, was to be shut down and Woodford had been removed as investment manager. The following day Woodford announced he would resign from his remaining investment funds and close his investment company in an orderly fashion.
Woodford's second marriage is with Madeline White; they have two children. Woodford lives on a farm in Tetbury in the Cotswolds. Woodford and his wife are keen horse riders and amateur showjumpers.
In June 2013, in the 2013 Birthday Honours, Woodford was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the economy. In July 2016, he was awarded an honorary fellowship by the London Business School.
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- Invesco Perpetual Income Fund, Invesco Perpetual
- Invesco Perpetual High Income Fund, Invesco Perpetual
- Invesco voices concern over BAE tie-up Archived 10 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Financial Times, 8 October 2012
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- "LBS honours Olivier Blanchard and Neil Woodford | London Business School". London.edu. 29 July 2016. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2017.