Neil Woodford is an ex-fund manager and was founding partner of Woodford Investment Management until its dissolution in 2019, following the suspension of its flagship Equity Income fund that June.
Once considered a star manager, he began his career with the Dominion Insurance Company and in 1987 became a fund manager with Eagle Star, then moved to Invesco Perpetual in 1988. Woodford ran the Invesco Perpetual Income and Invesco Perpetual High Income funds, with £10.36bn and £13.64bn in assets respectively.
In April 2014, Woodford left his role as head of UK equities at Invesco to set up Woodford Investment Management, launching the Income Focus fund, Patient Capital Trust and the Equity Income fund.
In June 2019, trading on the latter fund was suspended following a series of mass outflows and liquidity issues. As the controversy surrounding the fund's suspension grew, that October Woodford shut down all his funds and ultimately his business.
The ramifications of those events are still being felt today, with the Financial Conduct Authority carrying out an investigation on the events leading up to the 2019 suspension, and campaigners calling on the Government to intervene.
In February 2021, Woodford announced plans to establish a new Jersey-based biotech fund - but his announcement was not universally welcomed.