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Woodford hands protégé Barnett £42m property group stake

Two of the UK’s best-known fund managers have reaffirmed their close-knit relationship this morning, as Neil Woodford has sold a £42m holding in a listed property company to Mark Barnett, his former protégé at Invesco.

While Woodford’s flagship equity income fund continues to struggle to stem outflows, funds managed by Barnett will take on the shares in the New River Reit from Woodford, who was also previously at Invesco before setting up his own firm.

New River is valued at a total of £750m, and specialises in pub and convenience store investments. Woodford has sold around 6 per cent in the open market to Invesco, the Financial Times quotes stock exchange filings as saying.

Invesco becomes the Reit’s top shareholder as a result of the move, boosting its stake from 18 to 25 per cent, with Woodford’s falling to 23.4 per cent.

Woodford Investment Management and Invesco declined to comment to the Financial Times on the nature of the deal and whether Invesco knew the identity of the seller.

The Financial Times quotes Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management investment manager Patrick Thomas as saying: “This is not the type of investment Barnett would have made when his fund performance was good in 2015, but he is now under lights and needs to take more risk to catch up with better performing peers.”

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There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Two questions:-

    1. Why do you want to sell it?

    2. Why would I want to buy it?

    As for Mark Barnett needing to take more risks to catch up with his better performing peers (I’m currently moving most of my clients out of solely UK-centric funds in favour of globally diversified alternatives), more risk is a two edged sword. Things could well go the other way and, in recent times, Barnett has relied far too much on what Woodford has been doing (badly).

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