The fund manager who fell to earth

The fund manager who fell to earth
Neil Woodford, fund manager and former head of UK equities at Invesco Perpetual, one of the top performing fund managers in the British market Pic: Shutterstock

As recently as four months ago, Neil Woodford was a rock star of the finance world. Now his name is a byword for spectacular failure. So what happened?

Neil Woodford once wanted to be a Royal Air Force pilot. The fund manager’s trim build meant he could meet the first requirement for the job – fitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet – but his reflexes were his undoing. He could not react quickly enough in such a fast-moving environment.

Perhaps that slow reaction time offers a clue to Woodford’s spectacular flame-out. Last week, the one-time star of the investment management business in...

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