Owen Walker

Built on a Lie
  • 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 £14m 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 £3.6bn 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.

Owen Walker is an award-winning business journalist, covering European banks for the Financial Times. He was previously asset management correspondent at the newspaper and his reporting on Neil Woodford's downfall led to the FT winning business and finance team of the year at the 2019 Society of Editors' Press Awards. His first book, Barbarians in the Boardroom, covered activist investors and was published in 2016.

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