Neil Woodford says ‘sorry’ when announcing a new investment fund

Niall Woodford

Neil Woodford, the fund manager of the stars who fell from grace when his main fund was wound up in 2019, has said he has set up a new investment company.

Mr Woodford told the Sunday Telegraph he was “sorry” for what he had done wrong after investors made a huge loss.

But he has denied allegations that his headship caused the Woodford Equity Finance Fund, adding that he could have been saved if he had remained open.

Stock traders AJ Bell said investors would have “little sympathy”.

Mr. Woodford built his reputation as a 26-year-old star stock builder at City Invesco. An investment of £ 1,000 in his first deposit would have returned £ 25,000 before he left.

But after setting up his own business a number of investments turned sour, causing the value of his money to fall and investors – mostly non-professionals – to pull out millions.

As a result, its main Woodford Financial Income Fund was first canceled, then shut down, with Mr Woodford removed as investment manager in October 2019.

The next day he said he would relinquish his remaining investment funds and wind up his investment firm, Woodford Investment Management.

‘I had a strategy’

Speaking publicly about the relationship for the first time since 2019, Mr Woodford told the Telegraph: “I am deeply sorry for what I did wrong. What I was responsible for was two years of underperformance – it was I was an asset manager, I had the investment strategy, I owned it and it delivered a period of non-performance. “

But he said claims he caused in part were caused by Woodford Investment Management’s macho culture as “lies” that were “deeply hurt”.

He also accused the company’s administrator, Link Fund Solutions, of the premature closure of the Woodford Financial Income Fund. Many of the shares he bought were in drug dealers and their fortunes have improved through the pandemic.

“I did not make the decision to withdraw the funding, I did not make the decision to dissolve the fund.

“As history now shows, those decisions were terribly harmful to investors, and they were not mine.”

The BBC has asked Link for an opinion.

Under investigation

As a result of the suspension of the Woodford Equity Income Fund, many investors were unable to get their money back for months.

Mr Woodford and his team had bought sticks in too many unregistered companies, which made it difficult to sell assets quickly to fund a flood of redemption requests.

The events leading up to the fund’s collapse are being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority’s watchdog.

Stock traders AJ Bell said: “The news that Neil Woodford is looking back will come as a surprise to many, especially the thousands of satisfied investors who are still waiting for their final money. get back.

“With around £ 200m of money still stuck in its previous fund and original investors back in 2014 sitting at a loss of over 25% and thousands who invested longer forward suffering a great loss, there will be little sympathy for Woodford and the comments he made in his recent interview. “

Mr Woodford told the Telegraph that his new investment firm, called Woodford Capital Management Partners, would be based in Jersey and would only raise money from professionals.