View more on these topics

Neil Woodford to leave Invesco

Invesco Perpetual star fund manager Neil Woodford is quitting to set up his own fund management business.

Woodford, the country’s most popular UK equity income manager, will leave Invesco Perpetual on 29 April and hand over his £13.9bn Invesco Perpetual High Income and £10.6bn Invesco Perpetual Income funds to Mark Barnett, who has been part of Woodford’s team for 17 years. 

His UK equity components of the £3.8bn Invesco Perpetual Monthly Income Plus and £2.5bn Invesco Perpetual Distribution funds will be managed by Ciaran Mallon, alongside existing bond managers Paul Causer and Paul Read, with immediate effect.

Woodford says his decision to leave Invesco is based on where he sees long-term fund management opportunities.

He says: “My intention is to establish a new fund management business serving institutional and retail clients as soon as possible after 29 April.”

Invesco Perpetual has total AUM of £73bn, with Woodford running over £30bn across his various mandates.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “It is a massive blow for Invesco. Mark Barnett was always likely to be his successor and we hold him in high regard but nevertheless we are suspending our ratings from these funds and taking them off our buy lists.”

Blackstone Moregate IFA Tom Wilcox-Jones says: “Our initial thought was ’crikey, how many clients do we have who are exposed to him?’ But we think Mark is good and that he has his own good track record.”

Woodford has been with Invesco Perpetual for more than 25 years and has established a strong reputation over his tenure. FE Analytics shows the manager as returning 188.13 per cent over the 10 years to 14 October 2013, compared with a 119.75 per cent gain in the IMA UK Equity Income sector.


Barnett, meanwhile, has also built a strong track record since joining Invesco Perpetual some 17 years ago. Over five years to 14 October 2013, his £284.8m Invesco Perpetual UK Strategic Income fund is up 101.82 per cent, outperforming Invesco Perpetual Income’s 80.01 per cent gain.

The two managers are both known for making big calls on sectors within their portfolios and are regarded as having similar styles.

But there are also differences, with Barnett holding significantly less in healthcare than Woodford and a lot more in financials. Barnett also runs a much smaller portfolio and has been able to venture further down the cap scale to find opportunities, which has driven some of his outperformance.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior investment manager Adrian Lowcock says: “You would expect Mark Barnett to stamp his authority on any fund and you appoint a manager because you buy into what they have been good at. Investors will have to decide whether they want to back the new manager or move their money elsewhere.”

Most commentators have called for investors not to panic and to hold onto Woodford’s funds for the time being. One high-profile investor – Jupiter Asset Management head of multi-manager funds John Chatfeild-Roberts – plans to retain Invesco Perpetual Income in the £4.7bn Jupiter Merlin Income fund, where it currently has a 13.4 per cent weighting.

Chatfeild-Roberts says: “We have been happy long term holders of the Income fund and see no reason to make a hasty decision. Mark Barnett has been working with Neil for many years and is a talented manager in his own right.”

A straw poll of 200 advisers on the Money Marketing website following the news of Woodford’s departure suggests 42 per cent will stick with the funds, with another 42 per cent waiting to hear about Woodford’s new offering and the rest seeking alternatives.

Go to for reaction and analysis on Woodford’s departure 



Lenders warn of processing delays ahead of MMR

Lenders have warned that the need to retrain staff in the run-up to the Mortgage Market Review could result in application processing delays. Most non-advised sales will be banned under the MMR, unless a borrower wants to make a small contract variation or take out a retention product. All in-branch mortgage sales will have to […]


NAPF pushes for single pensions regulator; says current regime is ‘unsustainable’

The National Association of Pension Funds has reiterated calls to create a single pensions regulator and warned auto-enrolment will make the current regime “increasingly unsustainable”. Pensions regulation is currently split between the FCA, which regulates contract-based schemes, and The Pensions Regulator, which is responsible for regulating all workplace pensions, including trust-based defined contribution schemes. The […]

People on the move

Mark Pearson has departed from Aegon UK after 14 years at the company. There are no plans to replace him as head of investment marketing. Skandia has appointed two protection specialists for its wealth planning team. Colin Betts joins from the Royal London Group where he was head of sales training for Bright Grey and […]

Guarantees in the retirement income market

Lorna Blyth, Royal London  Do guarantees benefit customers and, if so, when? To answer this conundrum we commissioned Millimans, a global actuarial consulting firm, to conduct an independent review of the UK retirement income market and whether guarantees really do offer customers better value for money. The brief The study was one of the most comprehensive undertaken […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm