Built on a Lie
‘This book should be sold with a bottle of blood-pressure pills. Walker’s depiction is meticulous and unsparing’ The Times
‘Vital financial journalism with heart’ Emma Barnett, BBC
The definitive account of the Neil Woodford scandal from the award-winning FT journalist who first broke the story. This is the gripping tale of Britain’s top investor’s fall from grace and the shattering consequences.
The proud owner of a sprawling GBP14m estate in the Cotswolds, boasting a stable of eventing horses, a fleet of supercars and neighbouring the royal family, Neil Woodford was the most celebrated and successful British investor of his generation.
He spent years beating the market; betting against the dot com bubble in the 1990s and the banks before the financial crash in 2008, making blockbuster returns for his investors and earning himself a reputation of ‘the man who made Middle England rich’. As famous for his fleet of fast cars and ostentatious mansions, he was the rockstar fund manager that had the lifestyle to match.
But, in 2019, after a stream of poorly-judged investments, Woodford’s asset management company collapsed, trapping hundreds of thousands of rainy-day savers in his flagship fund and hanging GBP3.6bn in the balance.
In Built on a Lie, Financial Times reporter Owen Walker reveals the disastrous failings of Woodford, the greed and opulence at the heart of his operation, the flaws of an industry in thrall to its star performers and the dangers of limited regulation. With exclusive access to Woodford’s inner circle, Walker will reveal the full, jaw-dropping story of Europe’s biggest investment scandal in a decade.
Excellently-researched and pacy, anyone contemplating giving their money to a 'star fund manager' should read this book before they do anything * Paul Myners, former City Minister * An outstanding, readable, well researched account of the collapse of Woodford Investment Management ...'Built on a lie' wasn't a journalist's sound-bite but the judgement of Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England, who saw clearly that Woodford was a symptom of a dangerously unstable investment model. When a rogue investor smashes down a rotten door causing so much damage, give some credit to the rotten door. This is a must read * Vince Cable, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and Secretary of State for Business * What reads like a rip roaring tale of a corporate high wire act is in fact also a forensic exposure of a finance system out of control, populated by gambling profiteers operating with impunity and accountable to nobody * John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former Shadow Chancellor * Owen reveals in meticulous detail the actions of disgraced fund manager Woodford - how he did what he did. But he also places at the heart of the story those who lost their life's savings. The ones whose names and stories we mustn't forget. Vital financial journalism with heart * Emma Barnett, broadcaster * Colourful, insightful and pacey * Oliver Shah, Business Editor of the Sunday Times and author of Damaged Goods: The Rise and Fall of Sir Philip Green * Built On A Lie pulls no punches. Offers fresh revelations about the scandal, while asking important questions about what we can learn. -- Dave Baxter * Investor's Chronicle *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?