Neil Woodford, the disgraced star fund manager whose flagship equity fund was wound up in 2019, reportedly plans to establish a new investment firm.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Woodford has apologised for his actions.

“I’m very sorry for what I did wrong. What I was responsible for was two years of underperformance – I was the fund manager, the investment strategy was mine, I owned it and it delivered a period of underperformance.”

This is Woodford’s first public speech since the debacle.

However, he refused to accept that the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income Fund was the result of management lapses and said that it was wound down too early, blaming it on the administrator Link Fund Solutions.

Highlighting that the decision to liquidate the fund was not his, Woodford said that it could have rescued had it stayed open.

He said: “As history will now show, those decisions were incredibly damaging to investors, and they were not mine.”

Dubbed Woodford Capital Management Partners (WCM), Woodford’s new investment firm will be reportedly based in Buckinghamshire and Jersey.

It will advise professional investors instead of than retail customers, noted the report.

It will work with Acacia Research to advise on a portfolio of life sciences company holdings, which Acacia acquired from the Woodford fund’s administrators after it closed, the report added.

Background

In October 2019, Neil Woodford closed Woodford Investment Management after being dismissed as the manager of its flagship fund by the company’s administrator, Link Fund Solutions.

Woodford also stepped down from the role of manager of the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT).

The followed a trading suspension enforced on the Woodford Equity Income fund after a surge in investor withdrawals.

Soon, it was announced that Schroder Investment Management will assume the responsibilities of WPCT as its portfolio manager.