Neil Woodford in May will begin setting up a new asset management business at money manager and financial adviser Oakley Capital Management, a company spokeswoman confirmed.
Oakley Capital will provide infrastructure for the new business as Mr. Woodford develops it. He is currently head of U.K. equities at Invesco Perpetual, where he manages £32.5 billion ($53.1 billion) in assets for the £70 billion money manager. In October, the money manager confirmed that Mr. Woodford would leave on April 29 after 25 years at the firm.
Mr. Woodford became one of the U.K.'s best-known mutual fund managers by picking stocks that fit his view of the larger economy and avoiding bank shares before the crash in 2008. The announcement of his departure from Invesco after more than two decades caused its stock to fall and wiped off almost $1 billion of market value for the firm.
“Neil isn't going to have any trouble raising money for whatever it is he wants to do,” said Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, an investment adviser in London, by telephone. “I was a little surprised by the news. Oakley is a specialist private equity investor and has nothing in common with Neil's retail background.”
Invesco has a 32% stake in Oakley's Bermuda-based investment company that trades on London's Alternative Investment Market, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Oakley Capital oversees about £1 billion.
“I am delighted (Mr. Woodford) is joining, and we fully support his desire to create his own transformational asset management business soon after joining Oakley Capital,” said Peter Dubens, founder of Oakley Capital, in a news release. “We will fully support the transition and in the meantime we will provide an environment in which Neil can have the autonomy and flexibility to best serve the interests of clients.”
A Invesco Perpetual spokeswoman said Mr. Woodford would not comment on the Oakley statement.
A spokeswoman for Oakley Capital declined to comment further.
Bloomberg contributed to this story.