You may have heard already that Neil Woodford, Invesco Perpetual’s star fund manager is to leave in April 2014. If you have not then there will be quite a lot of press about it over the coming weeks. This is a significant departure for Invesco Perpetual as he is the industry’s most powerful fund manager and influences about £26 Billion worth of funds.

The flagship fund is the Income fund which is £10,634 million in size. Clearly one of the most successful offerings in the retail part of the market. We do not currently own this fund and where we do own UK Income funds in our portfolios the funds we own have produced better performance over the last 3 years and we consider this is in part due to the size of our funds versus the Invesco fund.

When Woodford leaves he will go on to set up his own Asset Management Company and we will follow his progress with interest.

Across our portfolios we currently hold 4 Invesco Perpetual Funds, but none of them are solely managed by Woodford. The only one we hold that he had an influence on is Monthly Income Plus, which has an equity element and his responsibilities have already been passed to Ciaran Mallon, another very experienced fund manager. The main fund managers on this fund and the other Bond funds we hold are Paul Causer and Paul Read, who are two of the best in the business.

The forthcoming departure of Neil Woodford was a surprise and we will watch very closely the developments at Invesco Perpetual, but we have no immediate plans to change our holdings. If, however, we feel that things have changed we will act quickly.

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