Invesco’s Woodford to join Oakley Capital as his funds bleed

HiredNeil Woodford, the fund manager and head of equities who will leave Invesco Perpetual after 25 years in April, will join Oakley Capital Management.

Oakley Capital says it will provide the infrastructure to allow Woodford to establish his own asset management business linked to the firm, in an environment where he “can have the autonomy and flexibility to best serve the interests of clients”.

Based in west London, Oakley Capital has $1 billion (€730 million) under management, including a private equity fund with €280 million of committed capital.

Mark Barnett will take over as manager of Woodford’s funds, which include the £13.9 billion (€16.6 billion) Invesco Perpetual High Income Fund, the £10.2 billion Invesco Perpetual Income Fund and the £1.4 billion Edinburgh Investment Trust.

Invesco Perpetual has suffered significant outflows since Woodford announced his intention to leave, according to Morningstar Direct, highlighting the problem of asset managers’ reliance on star managers.

The Invesco Perpetual High Income fund and the Invesco Perpetual Income fund have seen outflows of £1.4 billion over the past month alone.

“Despite Woodford not leaving the asset manager where he has spent the last 25 years until April, investors are voting with their feet and fleeing in their droves,” a recent research note from Morningstar Direct says. “Investors were warned not to panic sell Woodford's equity income funds, but it seems they did not heed the advice and instead are opting for Woodford's rivals.”

Schroders suffered outflows after Richard Buxton left to join rival Old Mutual Global Investors. Investors also withdrew money after Anthony Bolton retired from Fidelity for the first time before making a comeback to manage an investment trust investing in China.

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