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What does it take to get hired by Neil Woodford’s new firm?

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Neil Woodford is officially back. The star fund manager, who managed £15bn of assets while leading Invesco Perpetual’s investments team returning 2,200% over 35 years, has reassured potential investors in his new firm that he’ll be doing exactly the same thing.

“I will run this new fund in the same way that I have always run money, adopting the same philosophy and the same long-term approach,” he said on announcing the launch of CF Woodford Equity Income Fund, Woodford Investment Management’s first vehicle due to kick off on 2 June.

The team, for now at least, is firmly in place. We’ve profiled all current employees to give you an idea of what it takes to impress Woodford. In the majority of cases, he’s hired former Invesco staff…

Craig Newman, CEO

Who?: Former sales director at Invesco Perpetual, who worked with Woodford for 12 years, seems like something of a loyal disciple. When it emerged that Woodford was going to Oakley Capital Management after Invesco, Newman followed in the newly created position of head of retail asset management. Having since cut ties with the firm, Newman is again working with Woodford to lead his new venture.

Nick Hamilton, chief operating officer

Who?: Hamilton has changed tack by moving into the operational side of the business, having most recently been head of business development at Colonial First State Investments in Sydney; a role he held for just six months. His previous position as head of global equity products at Invesco, which again connects him to Woodford, perhaps explains his sudden departure.

Stephen Lamacraft, partner and fund manager

Who?: Lamacraft is one of many front office defections from Invesco to Woodford’s new venture, having most recently run the firm’s Pan-European Equity income fund. He joined the UK equities team at Invesco as a trainee in 2008.

Ross Lamacraft, sales manager

Who?: In what is looking increasingly like a family affair, Lamacraft signed up to Woodford Investment Management as sales manager. Again, he comes from Invesco, where he was most recently nationals and networks sales manager since June 2011, having previously worked in a business development role. Before Invesco, he worked in sales at supermarket Lidl, having previously spent two years as an RAF pilot.

Paul Lamacraft, analyst

Who?: After the departure of three investment staff from Invesco to Woodford’s new venture, the firm clarified that only Stephen Lamacraft actually ran money, while both Paul Lamacraft and Saku Saha were analysts. Lamacraft describes himself as a fund manager focused on UK small, midcap and private companies and is believed to have taken an analyst role at Woodford Investment Management. He has previously worked in M&A at Deutsche Bank.

Saku Saha, analyst

Who?: One of a trio of front office staff to move from Invesco last month, Saha started his finance career at the firm in 2009, having spent seven years in the British Army. Woodford devoted a lot of time looking into investments in small and private firms in his latter years at Invesco and both Saha and Paul Lamacraft helped him with much of the due diligence work. This implies smaller firms will be a focus of Woodford’s new venture.

Russell Harrop, analyst

Who?: A former global director of global equity sales at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who previously worked on Japanese equities at the firm, Harrop spent little time looking for a new buy-side role since leaving the bank in April. One of the few new hires at Woodford Investment Management not to come from Invesco, Harrop’s position seems a little junior for a man with 20 years’ financial services experience, but perhaps his range of duties is wider at a new, boutique firm. Completed the London Marathon in an impressive 3 hours 16 minutes.

Simon Dale, head of retail

Who?: Previously head of retail sales at Invesco, Dale is a seasoned investment professional in the retail sector, with over 20 years’ experience. He switched from Invesco into the role of head of business development for Europe at Matthews Asia in July last year, but has been lured back to work with Woodford.

William Deer, head of institutional

Who?: With Invesco since 2006, Deer was latterly the UK equity product director, responsible for pitching for new institutional business and communicating the firm’s strategies. Has previously worked for HSBC and ABN as an equity analyst. Woodford’s website says he is “naturally competitive”.

Simon King, client relationship management

Who?: Former co-head of UK wholesale at F&C Investments, King left after just five months to join Woodford. Previously, he was in sales at Thames River Capital for over ten years.

Paul Green, head of information technology

Who?: Another one of Woodford’s ex-Invesco colleagues who most recently lead the firm’s IT strategy and relationship management functions. Signed up to Woodford Investment Management in May in order to “champion the use of innovative IT infrastructure solutions”. Woodford’s new fund says that it can keep fees low by using “modern technology and encouraging investors to use fund platforms, execution-only brokers and financial advice channels”.

Mitchell Fraser-Jones, head of investment communications

Who?: Again, heralding from Invesco, where he was product director in the UK equities team, having previously held a senior marketing role. Has also worked in portfolio management in the 1990s, at Singer & Friedlander.

Martin Walton, non-executive director

Who?: Big-hitter across both fund management and investment banking, who currently holds the role of CEO of life sciences specialist Excalibur Fund Managers and was previously a managing director at Standard Bank and founding partner of investment banking boutique Exception Capital.

Mary Reilly, non-executive director

Who?: Former Deloitte partner within its products and services division until last year, who now holds a number of NED roles including Crown Agents Investment Management, the Department of Transport and TravelZoo.

Gray Smith, partner, chief legal and compliance officer

Who?: Most recently a partner at law firm Mishcon de Reya, Smith will oversee all aspects of legal and compliance at the firm including anti-money laundering and ensuring the firm is ship-shape for launch.

Paul Farrow, head of corporate communications

Who?: Former Telegraph personal finance hack, turned investment management flack. Most recently at Coutts as editor of their corporate communications.

Related links: 

Fitness, naps and meditation: The science of becoming a better fund manager

Asset managers hike bonuses by more than 20%. People leaving anyway

Working in fund management: the secret to longevity in financial services?

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