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Money managers under the microscope

Did Neil Woodford cause the BP oil slick?

June 11, 2010

Well, no. Of course he didn’t. And if pressed, he’d probably rather the southern seaboard of the United States wasn’t slowly turning into a necklace of slippery brown beaches.

But he is one of very few to benefit from the avalanche of political opprobrium, escalating costs and reputational damage that has engulfed BP in the last month, sending the shares 30 percent lower and leaving the pension pots of poor grans and grandads looking markedly less healthy.

Woodford, of course, sold out of BP (and Shell), back in October last year. Not in anticipation of a sunken Gulf of Mexico oil rig and a tough-to-tap pipe head, but for fear of tumbling oil prices and rising exploration costs.

Over the last month he has reaped the benefits of that call. His funds are the only ones in the UK equity income sector to turn a profit in the month to close of business on Wednesday.

Lipper data shows his High Income fund was up 0.6 percent in the period; the average income fund was down 3 pct.

You can see an overview of the fund here. Or buy the new all-singing, all-dancing Thomson Reuters Eikon platform for an in-depth look at relative performance and allocations.



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