Share

cover art for The Pride of Icarus: Neil Woodford's Epic Rise and Fall

A Long Time In Finance

The Pride of Icarus: Neil Woodford's Epic Rise and Fall

Neil Woodford was the fund manager who seemed to have it all. Hailed as the genius who "made Middle England rich", he ran one of the UK's best performing investment funds for decades. And then in a few hubristic years, after sticking his own name above the door, he raised an insane amount of cash, made some risky bets and lost the lot. Neil and Jonathan talk to David Ricketts, author of a book on Woodford, about his fall, the reasons for it, and what we've learned.


Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.

With David Ricketts.

Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • BP, Black Monday and Nigel Lawson's Big Bet

    23:15
    In the second of our series on Privatisation and Popular Capitalism, we look at the biggest and riskiest privatisation of all - the 1987 sale of the UK's 31% stake in BP. How the Chancellor Nigel Lawson gambled that the markets were good for a quick £7bn. Prepare for the world's shortest pricing meeting, diplomatic rows with Kuwaitis and lots of long faced underwriters. And our guest Philip Augar delivers the verdict: was it a disaster narrowly averted or a triumph for the new City of London?Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.With Philip Augar.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News
  • Tell Sid: Popular Capitalism and the Thatcher Revolution

    25:59
    Along with the sale of council houses, privatisation was a signature theme of Mrs Thatcher's government. Its aim was not just more efficient businesses, but a "share owning democracy" that would purge Britain of the "corrosive effect of socialism". With its "Tell Sid" campaign, British Gas was the high water mark of privatisation. Neil and Jonathan talk to author Philip Augar about "stagging", Cedric the Pig and how privatisation changed the City. Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.With Philip Augar.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with BRIEFCASE.NEWS
  • The Price Is Wrong: Why Free Markets And Climate Don't Mix

    30:16
    What if our understanding of capitalism and climate is back to front? What if the problem is not that transitioning to green energy is too expensive, but that saving the planet is not sufficiently profitable. This is the conundrum at the heart of economist Brett Christophers' provocative new book. Neil and Jonathan joined him to discuss why lower wind and solar costs may not equal a green bonanza.Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.With Brett Christophers.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News
  • Zen And The Art of Motor Car Maintenance

    22:56
    Unipart, once an unloved division of British Leyland, has grown steadily since its buyout 37 years ago, eschewing the stock market and building a "Mittelstand" like relationship with employees, customers and suppliers. Neil and Jonathan talk to John Neill, its long standing boss, about car parts, purpose versus City short-termism and why more companies don't embrace the "Unipart Way".Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.With John Neill.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News
  • The Weird World of The Barclay Twins

    25:54
    To some it might seem like the plot of a Jeffrey Archer novel: identical twins born to hardship who graft their way up together and ultimately get to own the Ritz Hotel, the Daily Telegraph and a socking great castle in the Channel Islands. But the story of Frederick and David Barclay is much stranger than that. With the Barclays back in the news as they attempt to recover control of the Telegraph, Neil and Jonathan talk to journalist Jane Martinson about the invisible rise of the twins, their complex finances and their ultimate falling out.Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.With Jane Martinson.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News
  • The Ups and Downs of Bill Gross, Bond King

    26:28
    Bill Gross was the "Master of the Universe" who got the world's attention when he declared in 2010 that UK government debt was sitting "on a bed of nitroglycerine". The man who built the modern bond markets, Gross seemed to have it all. But then he blew up his career just a few short years later with some very strange behaviour. We talk to Mary Childs, journalist and author of a book on Gross, about the strange life and times of a bond market Icarus and his dead cat Bob. Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil CollinsWith Mary Childs.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News
  • How to Get Big Things Done

    25:59
    What links the iconic Sydney Opera House, Monsters Inc and the mess that is HS2? Well, they involve all giant projects and most conform to the "iron law" that schemes costing $1bn or more always end up over time and budget. According to the data, a piddling 0.5% get delivered on time, for the right price, and produce the forecast benefits. So with the world facing a mountain of infrastructure projects to deal with everything from the climate crisis to clapped out transport systems, we talk to infrastructure expert Bent Flyvbjerg of Oxford University about some of the disasters and also the rare successes such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao to find out what separates the winners from the duds. Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil CollinsWith Bent Flyvbjerg.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News
  • An Atomic Awakening? Or Another Big Zzzzz?

    28:50
    At the recent COP conference, the UK, along with 21 other countries, promised to triple nuclear capacity by 2050. But what does that mean, and how can these plants be built without the delays and cost overruns that marked nuclear projects in the 1970s and 1980s - the last time Britain had a nuclear programme? Neil and Jonathan talk to Tim Stone, head of the UK's Nuclear Industry Association and a former adviser to five energy secretaries, about how to get nuclear done.Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.With Tim Stone.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News
  • The Strange Non Death of Crypto

    26:57
    Crypto's demise seems to have been exaggerated, a bit like Mark Twain's. After the collapse of FTX, multiple coin failures and the arrest of various coinigarchs at airports, Neil and Jonathan talk to bitcoin expert Matthew Pines about the digital, bankless currencies strange ability to shrug off these disasters and what the future may hodl. Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.With Matthew Pines.Produced and edited by Nick Hilton for Podot.In association with Briefcase.News