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Woodford to exit Invesco next April

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Neil Woodford is to leave Invesco Perpetual next April and set up his own business, the group has announced.

Invesco said Woodford would remain responsible for all funds for which he is the named manager through a transition period during the six months prior to his departure.

At the end of the transition, Mark Barnett will be named manager of the Invesco Perpetual High Income Fund and the Invesco Perpetual Income Fund. Barnett will then succeed Woodford as head of UK equities.

With immediate effect, the UK equity components of the Invesco Perpetual Monthly Income Plus Fund and the Invesco Perpetual Distribution Fund will be managed by Ciaran Mallon alongside the existing fixed income managers Paul Causer and Paul Read.

Mark Armour, chief executive of Invesco Perpetual, said: “Neil has served clients of Invesco Perpetual with commitment for over 25 years. It has been a privilege for us all to work alongside him, and I understand that, after 25 years, he is ready for new challenges.”

He added: “We have planned for succession for many years and have built a world-class investment culture that develops and supports gifted and experienced managers.

“Mark Barnett is an exceptional fund manager who has the same active, value-driven investment approach and long-term focus as Neil. A key member of the UK Equities team for 17 years, Mark has a first-quartile track record over one, three and five years.

“We are confident that Mark, Ciaran and the UK Equities team will continue to do an excellent job for clients.”

Woodford said: “I leave the company on good terms and remain fully committed to my fund management responsibilities at Invesco Perpetual until my departure.

“The Invesco Perpetual High Income Fund, Invesco Perpetual Income Fund and other client mandates will be transitioned into the hands of my long-standing, experienced colleagues. I wish my colleagues all the best for the future.”

He added: “My decision to leave is a personal one based on my views about where I see long-term opportunities in the fund management industry. My intention is to establish a new fund management business serving institutional and retail clients as soon as possible after 29 April 2014.

“There will be no further comment at this stage. Further announcements about the new business will be made after I have left.”

Armour added: “Our overriding priority is to look after our clients’ interests through a well-ordered transition process. Invesco Perpetual has highly experienced, talented investment teams, market-leading capabilities and the resources of a global company.

“We will continue to focus on delivering good outcomes for our clients.”

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