He’s back… Woodford plots £500million fund
Disgraced fund manager Neil Woodford is in talks about making a spectacular comeback just months after being sacked in one of the City’s biggest investment scandals.
Woodford has been lying low since the collapse of his investment firm last October left savers facing losses of up to half of their investments.
Now it has emerged that the fallen star has in recent weeks been in discussions with City firms about launching a new fund.
Under the plans, institutional investors would give Woodford up to £500million to buy back some of his old firm Woodford Investment Management’s unquoted shares in biotech companies.
Neil Woodford is planning a comback and intends to launch a new fund
Woodford would manage the money privately for his new backers.
The new venture, first reported by Sky News, has been in development since February. It is understood that several investors approached Woodford to gauge his appetite for a privately-run investment fund.
If the fund gets off the ground, Woodford would manage the investments from his office in Oxfordshire near his vast estate in the Cotswolds.
At the peak of his career, he was known as the City’s star fund manager, managing £15billion of savers’ money.
His empire imploded last summer when he was forced to suspend his £3.7billion flagship Equity Income Fund.
Savers were blocked from selling their holdings and Woodford was fired when the firm eventually collapsed.
A source close to Woodford said any new fund would focus on sophisticated professional investors. ‘Neil is dipping his toe in very gently,’ the source added. ‘He has had a handful of conversations with institutional investors to gauge their appetite.’
Woodford declined to comment.