Stocktake: Woodford’s questionable comeback plans

The fallen fund manager is planning a new fund focused on biotech, biosciences and healthcare

Woodford  studied economics and agricultural economics at university, and made his name as a fund manager by buying old-fashioned high-yielding stocks.  Photograph: Getty Images

Woodford studied economics and agricultural economics at university, and made his name as a fund manager by buying old-fashioned high-yielding stocks. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Fallen fund manager Neil Woodford is planning a comeback.

Woodford, once dubbed Britain’s answer to Warren Buffett, suffered a spectacular downfall in 2019 when his main fund was suspended and then shut down after his unnerved investors ran for the exits.

“I’m very sorry for what I did wrong,” he told the Sunday Telegraph, although his self-belief appears as strong as ever. Describing the episode as “pretty insignificant” relative to his long career, Woodford is planning a new fund focused on biotech, biosciences and healthcare.

The thing is Woodford does not have a scientific background. He studied economics and agricultural economics at university, and made his name as a fund manager by buying old-fashioned high-yielding stocks.

His forays in recent years into risky biotechs appeared hubristic and ultimately cost his investors a lot of money. His new plans appear questionable, to say the least.

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