These are grim times for Neil Woodford, not forgetting tens of thousands of Britons who thought we would place their nest eggs in his faltering investment fund. Fortunately for him the high-profile City bigwig can escape from it all this summer, in a state-of-the-art luxury home. At the right time, his eponymous investment account was traveling high, having generated returns of roughly 40 per cent in three years, prompting the BBC to dub him ‘the man who can’t stop making money’. They are grim times for Neil Woodford, not to mention tens of thousands of Britons who thought we would place their nest eggs in his faltering investment fund.
Fortunately for him the high-profile City bigwig can escape from it all this summer, in a state-of-the-art luxury home. By way of celebration, Woodford decided to spend thousands more pounds having his new holiday pile gutted, rebuilt, and extended, with slate flooring, wooden balconies, and a new gymnasium, office, playroom, and modern kitchen.
Described by its architect as a ‘high-specification 600 meters squared private dwelling fitted out to the highest possible standard’, the Salcombe property resembles a Bond villain’s lair. This is perhaps appropriate, since in appearance the bullet-headed, crop-haired fitness fanatic could certainly complete as a baddie in one of the movies almost.
Whatever now happens to his traders and their life cost savings, Woodford will not be sleeping on the roads certainly. The £60million roughly he’s removed from his company in fees and dividends during the past five years will see to that. Share 64 shares His main home, meanwhile, is a huge farm near Tetbury in the Cotswolds, 10 minutes from Highgrove House, the united states of residence of the Prince of Wales. It is also 50 minutes from the Oxford office he commutes to via Porsche at 5am on workdays.
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The few, who are both very horsey, had made a decision to move from their previous home in Buckinghamshire, following an unseemly public row over their failed efforts to develop 28 stables and a dressage industry because of their string of eventing horses. Locals argued at that time that the development at the house, which was owned by F1 tycoon Flavio Briatore once, would despoil a certain area of excellent natural beauty, and they compared the planned development to Auschwitz.
Celebrity neighbor Jeremy Paxman dubbed it ‘tremendous, unsightly, and environmentally unfriendly’ in a formal planning objection. Thankfully, there were no such issues in the Cotswolds, where in fact the rambling Woodford estate now accommodates a huge equestrian complex around 200 back yards from the primary dwelling. It offers in house and outdoor arenas, a full-sized dressage menage (with mirrors), several blocks of stables and 19 outdoor ranges for some of the several dozen top horses the couple has in training. Despite once telling an interviewer that he’d ‘dropped off far too many times’ while learning the ropes, Woodford is now something of the obsessive enthusiast of what he phone calls a ‘fantastic’ and ‘exhilarating’ sport.