Monday, 27 September 2021

Fund manager and charity chief honoured by Queen

A FUND manager in Henley has been made a Commander of the British Empire.

A FUND manager in Henley has been made a Commander of the British Empire.

Neil Woodford was named in the Queen’s birthday honours for his services to the economy.

It comes just days after he celebrated 25 years as a manager with Invesco Perpetual.

Mr Woodford, the head of UK equities, manages more than £25billion in assets, principally in his flagship income and high income funds.

The 52-year-old, who lives in the Hambleden Valley, said: “I am a bit taken aback really. I have been doing this job for a long time.

“I do spend a lot of time in Westminster lobbying government and trying to protect the interests of British industry and the companies that we invest in and they are not normally the activities associated with a fund manager.

“Most of my investments are in relatively small start-up companies and spin-outs from university. I have a good cross-section of experience and understanding how good technology, if it has the capital, can flourish.

“I try to get government to understand the needs of industry and it is investors like me who are trying to nurture great companies and great technology that could make important businesses in the future stay in the UK — and pay their tax.”

Mr Woodford, who was born in Cookham, graduated in economics and agricultural economics from the University of Exeter in 1981 and began an investment career with the Dominion Insurance Company.

In 1987, he became a fund manager with Eagle Star and then moved to Invesco Perpetual in 1988. He has also pursued postgraduate studies in finance at the London Business School.

Mr Woodford, who lives with his fiancée Madeline White and their two children, said he had not intended to have a career in the City.

“I had no idea what the City did,” he said. “When I started there were no jobs for graduates and I got my first break with Dominion. I came to Perpetual to further my career, to come to a company where fund management really mattered.”

Mr Woodford said he enjoyed working in Henley. “I have helped grow this business,” he said. “When I joined we employed a handful of people and were in the rectory in Thames Side.

“Now we are part of a bigger business in the US that employs lots of people and it is great to be a part of it.”

Neil McIntosh, from Goring, was made a CBE but for services to education.

He is chief executive of the Centre for British Teachers Education Trust.

Mr McIntosh said the honour reflected the hard work of a lot of people.

“I feel inadequate,” he said. “I appointed good people in the right places and let them get on with their jobs. My staff and I created an organisation which was a successful international and UK operator and we have done a lot of good work in improving schools.”

Mr McIntosh, who was born in Scotland, started work as director of Shelter in January 1977 and stayed with the charity for seven years.

He created and was the first chairman of Homeless International, which initiates and finances settlement projects and encourages inter-agency co-operation in the South.

Mr McIntosh was director of Voluntary Services Overseas from 1985 to 2001.

He became chief executive of CfBT in 1991 and helped to transform it from a £7.4million-a-year manager of English language programmes to an organisation with an income of more than £100 million a year.

The trust employs 2,300 staff worldwide who support educational reform, teach, advise, research and train. Mr McIntosh is married to Melinda and they have two children, Isobel, 20, and Fergus, 22. He also has two grown-up children from a previous marriage.

Diana Ellis, who became the first woman to be elected a Steward of the Henley Royal Regatta in 1997, was made a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to rowing.

In February, she ended her final term of office as chairman and then executive chairman of British Rowing after 52 years in the sport. She was an international rower, cox, umpire and official.

She has served on the organising bodies of seven world events including the 2005 world cup and the 2006 world rowing championships and was part of the London 2012 bid team.

She has been a representative of both the British Olympic Association and FISA, the international rowing federation.

Dame Diana was made a CBE in the 2004 Queen’s birthday honours for services to rowing and in 2012 FISA awarded her the Distinguished Service to International Rowing Award.

She is currently president of the organising committee for this year’s world cup and will be a finish judge at next month’s Henley Royal Regatta.

Actor Rowan Atkinson, who has a home in Ipsden, was made a CBE for services to drama and charity.

George Baker, a senior officer at Huntercombe Prison, received an MBE for services to the community. He lives in Kidlington.

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