THAT’S RICH! Disgraced fund boss Neil Woodford who left investors £450million out of pocket is back in business

  • Neil Woodford was once described a the man who made Middle England rich
  • He was forced to shut funds after putting 300,000 investors out of pocket
  • The fund manager is now back in business again which has angered investors
  • Mr Woodford worked with Craig Newman at Woodford Investment Management

Disgraced fund manager Neil Woodford last night sparked outrage after staging a comeback despite leaving 300,000 investors out of pocket.

Woodford, once described as the man who made Middle England rich, was forced to shut his funds last year after angry investors demanded their money back following a series of bad bets.

But last night, it emerged that Woodford has made an audacious return to the investments world – even though savers in his disastrous funds are still waiting for £450 million to be returned to them.

Fund manager Neil Woodford (pictured), once described as the man who made Middle England rich is back in business despite leaving investors £450million out of pocket last year

News of his comeback is likely to anger those who ploughed vast amounts of their savings into his funds. 

Lord Mann, the former Labour MP who served on the Treasury Select Committee, said: ‘Investors will be shocked and hugely unhappy at what they will perceive as a huge injustice.’

Self-styled maverick Woodford and his right-hand man Craig Newman are advisers to a company investing in start-up firms.

Sky News reported that the duo were helping Juno Capital build a portfolio of private healthcare investments.

One of the reasons for Woodford Investment Management’s collapse was that he ploughed too much money into loss-making biotech companies that were not listed on the stock market – meaning the investments were hard to sell.

A source close to Woodford, whose main home is a £14 million mansion in Gloucestershire, said his role at Juno Capital was advisory and that he is not managing clients’ money.

Juno is a little-known London-based company led by City grandee Sir Nigel Rudd, the former chairman of high street chemist Boots. 

It describes itself as a company aimed at wealthy investors rather than those targeted by Woodford Investment Management. It is unclear whether Woodford is being paid for advising Juno.

Woodford continued to charge millions of pounds in fees after his main fund was suspended last year and clients were blocked from withdrawing their savings. The controversial move triggered a backlash from investors, MPs and campaigners.

The former funds guru built up a reputation as a star investor over a number of years at Invesco Perpetual before he and Mr Newman launched their own firm, Woodford Investment Management, in 2014.

Woodford made his name as a star investor over a number of years before he and right-hand man Craig Newman (pictured) set up Woodford Investment Management in 2014

Woodford’s flagship fund was worth more than £10 billion in 2017, but collapsed below £3 billion last year as panicked investors rushed for the exit. 

About 300,000 investors are still waiting on around £450 million to be returned to them, with half invested in risky, hard-to-sell assets. It means investors will get significantly less back than they put in.

Woodford and Mr Newman pocketed nearly £14 million in dividends from the investment business in the year before its implosion.

A spokesman for Woodford declined to comment. Juno did not respond to requests for comment.

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