Bri­tain’s an­swer to War­ren Buf­fett...

Daily Mail - - News - By City Cor­re­spon­dent

NEIL Wood­ford is the clos­est equiv­a­lent the UK has to leg­endary Amer­i­can in­vestor War­ren Buf­fett.

The star stock-picker made his name over a quar­ter of a cen­tury work­ing at In­vesco Per­pet­ual, where loyal pri­vate in­vestors trusted him with £33 bil­lion, more than any other fund man­ager.

Savers who handed him £10,000 in the late 1980s would now have £300,000, and his views and stock picks can strike fear or joy into the na­tion’s top chief ex­ec­u­tives.

Mr Wood­ford, 57, lives in Tet­bury, Glouces­ter­shire, hav­ing left Hen­ley-on-Thames in Ox­ford­shire in 2011 af­ter a bust-up with neigh­bour and broad­caster Jeremy Pax­man over the fund man­ager’s plans to build a horse-train­ing arena.

In 2015, he mar­ried his se­cond wife Made­line White, an am­a­teur show-jumper, with whom he has two young chil­dren. Mr Wood­ford leaves home at am ev­ery day, driv­ing a Porsche Cayenne to his fund’s mod­est of­fices on an in­dus­trial es­tate in Ox­ford or into Lon­don for meet­ings at some of the UK’s big­gest com­pa­nies.

De­spite his suc­cess, he says he chanced upon fund man­age­ment.

Grow­ing up in Berk­shire, he left Maiden­head Gram­mar want­ing to fly fighter jets. But he could not pass the RAF’s ap­ti­tude test, and in­stead went into the City in 1981 when Bri­tain was gripped by a re­ces­sion.

Sleep­ing on his brother’s floor, Mr Wood­ford worked his way through var­i­ous jobs at the Reed Pen­sion Fund, TSB and Ea­gle Star. His big break came in 1988 when he got a job at In­vesco in Hen­ley, and he was soon run­ning his own fund.

In 2013, he quit to set up his own fund man­age­ment op­er­a­tion, Wood­ford In­vest­ment Man­age­ment, which man­ages £15 bil­lion of savers’ cash.

De­spite a shaky per­for­mance over the past 18 months, Mr Wood­ford’s in­flu­ence in the City en­dures.

In 2015, he told the Mail the eu­ro­zone could not con­tinue in its cur­rent form and that a ‘day of reck­on­ing’ over Bri­tain’s fu­ture in the EU was in­evitable.

City star: Fund man­ager Neil Wood­ford

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.