Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc
New for 2018. A contender for adventurous bargain hunters
Woodford Patient Capital, run by star stock-picker Neil Woodford, is our 'wild card' selection for 2018. It invests predominantly in early-stage UK companies, both quoted and unquoted. As it can take years for young businesses to fulfil their potential, it has yet to show its form.
The trust was launched to great fanfare in 2015 and quickly flew to a chunky 15 per cent premium to net asset value. On news of a string of disappointing investments this deteriorated to as low as a 10 per cent discount. At the end of 2017, the discount remained at just under 8 per cent, a potential bargain for investors with conviction in Woodford's abilities. Whitechurch Securities bought the fund for clients at launch, exited at a 15 per cent premium and bought back in at an 8 per cent discount in late 2017. John Newlands, founder of Newlands Fund Research, is also an enthusiast. 'I'd rather chase a battle-hardened fund manager with a 10 year-plus track record who has gone through a moderate patch. Quality tends to be permanent in such situations,' he says. Another interesting and quite complex aspect of the trust is its fee structure. Investors only pay a fee when performance exceeds a certain target. They pay 15 per cent of any annual return in excess of 10 per cent, but only where the asset value is higher than its level when the previous performance fee was triggered. In other words, growth of 10 per cent in one year won't trigger a payment if the investment had plunged for several years before and has not yet fully recovered. While we are hoping that the Woodford trust can deliver decent returns in its third full year and beyond, we are not expecting it to do as well as Syncona IT, last year's wildcard choice, which returned 51 per cent over the year.
Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2018.See all Money Observer rated funds
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Stephen worked with Neil Woodford at Invesco Perpetual as a UK Fund Manager responsible for £120 million of assets. Stephen’s strategy focuses on fundamental analysis of large and mid-capitalisation companies.
Saku’s previous role was as analyst and investment director for the Invesco Perpetual UK Equities team. In this role, he was responsible for analysing investment opportunities and assisting Neil Woodford, with a specific focus on early-stage technology companies. Prior to his role at Invesco Perpetual, Saku spent many years at a senior level in the British Army.
Paul began his career at Ernst and Young and his most recent role was as a fund manager on the UK Equities team at Invesco Perpetual. Paul has a private equity and corporate finance background and focuses on analysis of early stage and early growth companies.
Neil Woodford began his career at Dominion Insurance in 1981 and then worked in the corporate finance departments of Reed International and TSB before focusing on fund management at Eagle Star in 1987. Following a brief stint there, Woodford joined Perpetual in 1988 and rose to head of investment at the firm. He ran the IP Income fund from 1990 and also took charge of the IP High Income at launch in 1988. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2013 for services to the economy. Woodford announced he was leaving Invesco Perpetual in October 2013 to set up his own fund management business. He joined Woodford Investment Management on 1 May 2014.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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