Neil Woodford agrees five-year salary programme to stay with henley-based group
Invesco Perpetual is to offer its five-year rolling incentive scheme to its other managers, after it agreed deals with Neil Woodford, Paul Causer and Paul Read last week.
Woodford, who manages the £2.5bn Invesco Perpetual High Income and the £725m Income funds, confirmed he had signed the deal because he is now satisfied that Henley, Perpetual's investment centre, will retain its culture, something that senior, US-based Amvescap management had not initially visualised.
Read and Causer, who manage the £354m Invesco Perpetual Corporate Bond fund and the £352m Monthly Income Plus fund, committed themselves earlier this month.
The programme offers new tranches of the incentive package starting two years before the conclusion of the previous package. In effect, that ties in managers on a rolling basis. This will avoid a repeat of the situation where managers' contracts come to an end at the same time, fuelling damaging speculation that some could depart. Other managers that the group will be keen to tie in are Graham Kitchen, manager of the £764m Invesco Perpetual Income & Growth fund, and Andy Crossley, manager of the £147m Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies Growth fund.
Claire Griffiths, manager of the £238m European Smaller Companies fund, and Stephen Whittaker, manager of the £755m Invesco Perpetual UK Growth fund, will also be offered the deal.
Since the merger between Invesco and Perpetual, European manager Margaret Roddan and UK smaller companies managers Mark Niznik and John Sweet have all left the group. Niznik's replacement is due to be announced shortly.
A question mark also hangs over the future of Trent May as the named manager of the £44m Invesco Perpetual US Growth fund. May was replaced as manager of the Invesco Growth fund offered in the US after 12 months of poor performance, which put it in the bottom 1% in its US-based peer group.
Invesco Perpetual has no plans, as yet, to replace May, who is still with the group, on the UK vehicle, which is bottom of the IMA North America sector over the three months, one year and three years to 12 March, according to Standard & Poor's.
Over the three years to that date, the fund is down 50% compared to a positive average fund performance of 3.8%.
Mike Webb, chief executive of Invesco Perpetual, acknowledged that the uncertainty over managers' futures had hit fund sales. He said: 'Over the past few months, there has been considerable speculation in the press and within the IFA community regarding the commitment of certain individuals within our investment team.'
Woodford said he and his Henley colleagues had been unsettled by early announcements from Amvescap, which seemed to threaten the separate status of Perpetual and, indeed, its very name.
There was also the threat that the managers would be required to work in London and lose some of their fund management independence.
He said: 'None of us wanted to be highly paid fund managers working for a company in which we were not happy and did not believe.'
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