Woodford Leaves Funds 8 Weeks Early

Neil Woodford has handed over the running of his Invesco Perpetural Income and High Income funds to Mark Barnett eight weeks earlier than initially planned

Emma Wall 7 March, 2014 | 9:17AM
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Neil Woodford has handed over management of the £8.4 billion Invesco Perpetual Income fund and the £13 billion High Income fund to Mark Barnett eight weeks earlier than originally planned.

Woodford announced he was quitting Invesco Perpetual in October after 25 years employment and later confirmed he would be joining Oakley Capital on May 1.

At the time of quitting assets under management totalled £24 billion between the two open-end income funds, but this has since dropped several million pounds as voted with their feet. Morningstar analysts placed the funds Under Review, where they had previously held a Gold Rating.

Chief executive of Invesco Mark Armour said that client response to Barnett had been extremely positive and transition plans had progressed sufficiently well for Barnett to assume responsibility for the funds. 

“Mark is an exceptional fund manager with a first-quartile track record over one, three and five years and we have every confidence that he and the UK Equities team will continue to do an excellent job for our clients,” he added.

Woodford also ran the Edinburgh Investment Trust (EDIN). The board confirmed in January that Barnett would take over the running of the trust with immediate effect.

Closed-end fund analyst Jackie Beard said at the time the appointment was good news for existing Edinburgh investors. "The decision to retain Invesco will mean that investors are not subjected to transfer costs or exit fees. The board has also announced a reduction in the annual fee to 0.55% and the performance fee, which is great news," she said. "Barnett is a good manager with a proven track-record and he has learned a lot working alongside Woodford for the past 13 years.”

All three funds will remain under review until analysts have met with Barnett to discuss his plans for investors.

Woodford will remain at Invesco until April 29 and the asset manager confirmed he will now concentrate on managing a number of segregated accounts until his departure.

In December Invesco Perpetual was listed the largest shareholder of Oakley Capital. Oakley has more than $1 billion assets under management, and owns the Time Out group of publications.

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Emma Wall  is former Senior International Editor for Morningstar