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Crisis-ridden “Oracle of Oxford” closes investment management business

By Hazel Davis

Top UK stockpicker Neil Woodford’s empire collapses

Neil Woodford, formerly the UK's most successful stockpicker, has announced the closure of his Woodford Investment Management business. The move comes as he was fired from his £3.1bn ($3.95bn, €3.58bn) Woodford Equity Income Fund, which will now go into liquidation.

Woodford, who was known as the "Oracle of Oxford" and received a CBE for services to the economy, worked at Invesco for 26 years, before setting up his own business and attracting investments worth millions. Woodford’s business is reported to have managed more than £14bn at the height of its success.

The Woodford Equity Income Fund was suspended in June. This will now be wound up, with any cash being returned to them. Shares in his Woodford Patient Capital Trust sank 6.6 per cent to just over 32p after he handed in his notice on 15 October. He has also stepped down from his role as manager of the yield-oriented LF Woodford Income Focus.

The Woodford implosion has created shockwaves in the industry but the WIM board, chaired by Susan Searle, says it is committed to “working collaboratively” with its advisers to protect the interests of shareholders.

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