Dressed casually in jeans and trainers, a rucksack slung over one shoulder, this is the fallen superstar of the investment world.
Neil Woodford has not been seen in public for two months following revelations about his failing billion-pound flagship fund.
The beleaguered 59-year-old was spotted for the first time when he left this company’s headquarters in Oxford on Tuesday evening after an 11-hour day.
Mr Woodford has come under fire after it was revealed he pumped billions of Equity Income Fund customers’ cash into risky investments that were hard to sell in a hurry.
He has left tens of thousands of British savers in uproar, barred from accessing their nest eggs for months because his fund has run out of ready cash.
But the multi-millionaire financier is still charging fees totalling almost £100,000 every working day, meaning his Woodford Investment Management company is on course to rake in almost £12million from trapped clients before the fund is reopened.
The one-time star stock picker, who has been keeping a very low profile, appeared briefly before driving away in his £86,000 Audi RS6 Avant.
Mr Woodford was among the first to arrive on Tuesday morning as he parked his Audi just before 7am in the nearest bay to the reception at the firm’s three-storey office in a drab business park in Cowley.
He left at 5.45pm, presumably for his £13.7million home near Tetbury in the Cotswolds, where the keen horserider lives with his 47-year-old second wife Madelaine and their two young children.
His property portfolio also includes a lavish six-bedroom seafront holiday home in Salcombe, Devon, which he has spent huge amounts of money extending and renovating since he bought it for £6.35million in 2017.
The frown on Mr Woodford’s face as he left work may have been caused in part by the revelation the previous day that he has cashed in £1million of shares from a separate fund, Woodford Patient Capital Trust, to pay a tax bill – just as his investors were warned they face being denied access to their money until December.
Yesterday, it was revealed that he has breached EU rules over Equity Income for a third time.
Three of his big investments came off the Guernsey stock exchange, meaning more than 10 per cent of holdings in the fund are now privately owned, above the EU limit. He has broken the 10 per cent limit twice previously.
James Daley, of consumer group Fairer Finance, said: ‘Investors want to hear from Mr Woodford. For many people this has been a very traumatic experience. The least he and his team could do is communicate with their customers.’
On his website, Mr Woodford has apologised but insisted his strategy would be proved right eventually. Last night, his spokesman said: ‘Since the suspension, Neil has been up and down the country meeting investors, as well as keeping them informed through our website.
‘The company will continue to charge a management fee as we focus on repositioning the portfolio, to cover the infrastructure and resource costs associated with running an actively managed fund.’
Mr Woodford had elected not to take any income or dividends from the company while the fund is suspended, he said.