Woodford pair to follow him out of Invesco

 
David Hellier
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TWO MEMBERS of Neil Woodford’s investment management team have decided to follow the star fund manager out of the door at Invesco Perpetual, increasing concerns the firm will lose key clients, funds and personnel.

Invesco Perpetual issued a short statement saying that William Deer and Mitchell Fraser-Jones, UK equities product directors, had both decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.

The two men are expected to work with Woodford at his new venture but there was no official confirmation of this yesterday.

Nick Mustoe, Invesco Perpetual’s chief investment officer, said: “On behalf of the Invesco Perpetual team, I would like to thank them both for the tremendous work they have done. We wish them the very best for their futures.”

There are reports that investors in Invesco Perpetual’s flagship income funds have withdrawn between four to 10 per cent of the assets in the weeks proceeding the announcement of Woodford’s departure last month.

As reported before, Woodford will be succeeded by Mark Barnett, who will run the group’s income funds. Barnett has been with the company for around 17 years and shares Woodford’s interest in long-term investing decisions.

But he will need no reminding what a tough job he is walking into.

“This is the equivalent to taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson,” says fund manager Alan Miller, who is founding partner and chief investment officer at SCM. “Neil Woodford is a one-off and has built his success on the back of an amazing reputation.”