Former Woodford protégé launches fund at Tellworth

Former Woodford protégé launches fund at Tellworth
Mark Barnett, former head of UK equities at Invesco

Neil Woodford’s former protégé has launched a UK income and growth fund.

Mark Barnett is co-managing the Tellworth UK Income and Growth fund alongside Johnnie Smith.

The new fund launched on March 24, and will consist of 40 to 60 quoted companies with a market cap of below £500mn.

In a statement the group said the fund would focus on companies showing attractive valuations, cashflow and dividend growth prospects, and will pay a level of income above the Numis UK All Share Index monthly.

Barnett said: “I am excited to manage a new fund, going 'back to basics', and introducing old and new investors to the strategy. 

“Having consulted with our early investors, the new fund incorporates the needs of clients today and will be  paying income monthly. 

“Furthermore, with markets behaving the way they are, some investors think  it is a difficult time to launch a fund, we think it is a huge opportunity.” 

Barnett joined Tellworth Investments in April 2021, almost a year after he left Invesco following a prolonged period of underperformance.

At Invesco he managed the Income and High Income funds, which lost around 40 per cent over a three-year period, compared with a UK All Companies sector average loss of 14 per cent.

Both funds ranked in the lowest quartile in the sector over three-month, six-month, one-year, three-year and five-year periods at the time.

The manager was also sacked from the Edinburgh investment trust in December 2019 and replaced by Majedie Asset Management’s James de Uphaugh.

Barnett took over the management of most of his funds from Neil Woodford who left Invesco to start his own firm in 2014 - a venture which closed in 2019 after a period of poor performance.

He deployed the same value style of investing as Woodford and had major investments in many of the same companies as his former boss, including chronic underperformers such as Stobart Group and Provident Financial.

UK equity boutique Tellworth was founded in 2017 by former Schroders fund management duo Paul Marriage and John Warren. It currently manages £1bn across four equity strategies including its UK Smaller Companies fund, its UK Select fund and its European Market Neutral fund.