(Adds detail and background)
By Chris Vellacott
LONDON, April 3 Investment group St James's
Place (SJP) is transferring management of 7.7 billion
pounds ($12.81 billion) of its assets from Invesco Perpetual,
allocating nearly half to outgoing fund manager Neil Woodford's
St James's Place outsources management of its range of
mutual funds to hand-picked external managers. The changes do
not, therefore, affect Invesco's assets under management, though
it will lose millions of pounds in annual management fees.
Woodford joins Oakley Capital Management in May and will run
its new Woodford Investment Management operation. That business
will take three SJP mandates with combined assets of 3.65
billion pounds, currently managed by Invesco Perpetual, SJP
Chief Investment Officer Chris Ralph told Reuters.
These are the 650 million pound UK Equity fund, the 1.56
billion pound Income Distribution fund and the 1.4 billion pound
UK High Income unit trust.
Woodford, who announced plans to leave Invesco Perpetual in
October, has managed SJP funds since 2001. He is widely feted
for a defensive stock-picking style that made money throughout
the financial crisis, earning him a cult-like status among
investors who entrusted him to manage close to $50 million.
Ralph told Reuters that St James's Place, which is about to
join London's blue-chip FTSE 100 index, had faced questions from
shareholders and clients about its plans for the funds run by
Invesco Perpetual since Woodford announced he was leaving.
Mandates for two other funds with combined assets of 3.35
billion pounds transfer from Invesco Perpetual to fund manager
Threadneedle Investments. Management of a 720 million pound
Global Equity Income fund goes to Manulife Asset Management,
where it will be run by Paul Boyne and Doug McGraw, who managed
the fund at Invesco Perpetual before they left the company at
the end of 2012.
Invesco, which continues to manage about 1 billion pounds of
bond assets for St James's Place, declined to comment on
St James's Place, which sells investment products to a
largely British customer base, was until recently 60 percent
owned by Lloyds Banking Group, though the lender sold
its stake during 2013.
SJP currently runs assets of around 44 billion pounds.
($1 = 0.6012 British Pounds)
(Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Goodman)