Managers weigh up Woodford departure

John Chatfeild-Roberts, head of the Jupiter Merlin Independent Funds Team, described Mark Barnett – who will step into Mr Woodford’s shoes as manager of £13.9bn Invesco Perpetual High Income and £10.6bn Invesco Perpetual Income Funds – as a highly talented investment professional.

He said: “Neil Woodford is a tremendous talent and his decision to leave will be a blow to Invesco. We have been happy holders of the Income fund for many years.

“Mark Barnett has worked with Mr Woodford for 17 years and is a talented manager in his own right, but investors will need to make their own decisions based on their own assessment of his capabilities versus other contenders.”

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Legal & General’s multi-manager team would not say whether they will continue to invest in the IP Income fund through its £30.77m Multi Manager Balanced Fund.

It currently has a 6.65 per cent holding in the fund, making it the portfolio’s fifth biggest holding. The portfolio is currently languishing near the bottom of the Investment Management Association Mixed Investment 40-85 per cent share sector, ranking 126th out of 127 funds.

It is understood that Henderson’s multi-manager team is putting its stake in the Invesco funds under review.

A spokesman said it was “inevitable” that the managers would now question the funds following last week’s news, but have not reached a decision on how to proceed.

Adviser comment:

Alan Dick, partner for Glasgow-based Forty Two Wealth Management, said: “Our rational view is that you cannot predict which managers will turn out to be stars, and much of it can be down to luck. Also, look at Anthony Bolton’s successor at Fidelity – he was groomed for several years, but that approach did not necessarily guarantee continued success.”