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Politicians pick Woodford’s brain on aiding young firms

Politicians pick Woodford’s brain on aiding young firms

Government policy officials have been knocking on Neil Woodford’s door in an effort to better understand how they can support the UK’s early-stage businesses.

The manager will be focusing heavily on what he sees as the UK’s most entrepreneurial and innovative companies in his forthcoming Patient Capital investment trust and the attention around the launch has caught the eye of Westminster.

With the general election around the corner, a positive policy surrounding UK businesses could be a key platform for any party manifesto come the May elections.

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The manager has previously been vocal on his views about government policy, lambasting Labour leader Ed Miliband’s claim he would fix energy prices until 2017 if elected.

But more recently the government has been contacting Mr Woodford for insight into how he is investing in young businesses, discussions that could help shape the next government’s thinking on the issue.

“I have spoken to the government and various public bodies about what I am trying to achieve and have got conversations coming up,” Mr Woodford said.

“There are things the government can do to encourage the broader community of investors to invest in early-stage businesses.”

Mr Woodford added there was “an absence of a favourable fiscal regime” for such companies.

The manager, speaking to Investment Adviser at his Oxford-based office, said an aim of the trust was to “nurture and invest in British science more broadly”, something evident in some of the technology and healthcare holdings the manager owns in his £4.7bn CF Woodford Equity Income fund.

Visit FTAdviser.com today for a look behind the scenes at Woodford Investment Management’s Oxford headquarters.