Mark Barnett leaves Invesco as CIO reshuffles UK equity range

Woodford protege’s funds handed over to James Goldstone and Ciaran Mallon


Mark Barnett is leaving Invesco following a review of its UK equities range by its recently-appointed CIO, the firm announced on Friday.

The firm said a review of its UK equity product range had been overseen by chief investment officer Stephanie Butcher, who was appointed to the role in October 2019 and took on full duties at the start of the year.

Butcher said: “In reorganising the UK equities portfolio and after discussion with Mark Barnett, we have mutually concluded that this is the right time for him to hand over the leadership of these funds and leave Invesco; we wish to place on record our appreciation of Mark’s profound commitment to both clients and colleagues over 24 years.”

As a result, James Goldstone and Ciaran Mallon are taking over as co-managers of the open-ended funds Barnett was responsible for.

Barnett’s former funds will also be overhauled, with the £1.5bn Income and £102.2m Strategic Income funds merged and a clarification of the mandate on the £3.3bn High Income fund.

Performance in Mark Barnett’s UK-domiciled funds

1m 3m 6m 1yr 3yr 5yr
Invesco High Income (UK) -6.92 -35.11 -32.30 -34.69 -40.36 -33.69
Invesco Income (UK) -6.40 -35.07 -32.68 -35.37 -39.75 -34.35
Invesco UK Strategic Income (UK) -7.82 -35.24 -31.70 -34.27 -41.50 -36.40
FTSE All Share index -1.06 -22.98 -20.36 -17.48 -12.99 0.66
Source: FE Fundinfo

Invesco has also renamed Barnett’s Invesco High Income fund to the Invesco UK Equity High Income fund and the Invesco Income fund to the Invesco UK Equity Income fund.

The decision comes after Barnett was dropped from the Edinburgh investment trust in December, while the Perpetual Income & Growth investment trust announced in April it would also be looking to replace him. Collectively, the investment trust mandates had represented £1.5bn worth of assets to Invesco.

Martin Walker, who is head of UK equities, will manage the Perpetual Income and Growth Investment Trust until a decision is made on its replacement manager.

See also: Invesco trust assets shrink to £1bn as Mark Barnett loses second mandate

A chance for Invesco’s ‘bruised’ UK equity franchise to reset

Tilney managing director Jason Hollands said the writing had been on the wall for some time, with Barnett moved from head of UK equities to co-head last year and the firm being dropped as manager of the Edinburgh Investment Trust.

Hollands said: “Invesco will clearly hope that this resets the prospects for their bruised UK equity franchise.”

Earlier this year, Invesco implemented a 60% reduction in the valuation of unquoted holdings held in Barnett’s funds.

Barnett’s departure follows a period of prolonged, significant underperformance which has landed Invesco as the dominant manager in the last few editions of Bestinvest’s Spot the Dog report which names and shames consistent underperformers.

It has also fuelled a pattern of major outflows from the firm’s once flagship UK equity funds.