Neil Woodford

  1. Woodford fund to reopen tomorrow

    Neil Woodford

    The former Woodford Income Focus fund reopens for business tomorrow with a new name: The LF ASI Income Focus fund.

    The good news is that trapped Investors will be able to place trades from mid-day today so have to decide whether to stick with the fund or transfer to an alternative.

    "The fund has undergone a complete overhaul with none of the top 10 holdings under the previous manager appearing in the new top 10," pointed out Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell.

    "The bad news for investors is that this overhaul has come at a cost with significant underperformance of the FTSE All Share during the transition, not least because of the costs of making the changes to the portfolio.

    "Many will see this as a final kick in the teeth, having suffered from poor performance and then had to pay again for the privilege of exiting the stocks."

  2. Hargreaves Lansdown wins less business after frozen Neil Woodford funds

    Ex-fund manager Neil Woodford
    Image caption: Ex-fund manager Neil Woodford

    Investment business Hargreaves Lansdown took a 9% knock on the amount of new customers it brought through the door after a quarter of its client base had money frozen in Neil Woodford's equity income fund.

    The retail stock seller brought in £2.3bn net new business which it blamed on a "tough market backdrop" and Neil Woodford.

    Mr Woodford was sacked from his flagship fund in 2019, and the decision was made to close it. However, many investors have been left in limbo since June when the fund was first suspended.

    Investors are due between 46p and 59p a share, much less than most paid for a share on investment.

    The boss of broker Hargreaves Lansdown issued an apology following the suspension of the Woodford fund.

    Chris Hill, chief executive, said he shares clients' "disappointment and frustration".

    Despite the hardships caused by the UK fund manager, Hargreaves Lansdown still manged a 12% profit growth from the prior year to £171.1m.

  3. Payments from Woodford fund could take 'many months'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Neil Woodford
    Image caption: Neil Woodford was sacked from running the fund in October

    Fund manager Neil Woodford made his name as a star stock-picker at Invesco Perpetual, before launching his own business.

    But after several of his picks plummeted in value, he was sacked and his flagship UK Equity Income Fund was closed.

    Investors will this week learn how much of their money they will get back through an initial payment. The rest of it could take many months.

    Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell, tells the BBC’s Today programme the fund was broken into "two different parts, the liquid side, which is easy to sell and is being paid out this week.

    "Then, what's left after that is the illiquid part that's with a different manager to try and sell down. There's around 25% left in that pot which could take a longer to sell. So there will be a further payment, maybe many, many months in the future once they've been able to sell those stocks."

  4. FCA should be probed over Woodford role, says Labour

    John McDonnell

    That news that Woodford Equity Income investors will receive their first payouts on Thursday hasn't appeased outgoing shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

    “Many small investors who were simply seeking a secure investment for their pension have been hurt by the failure of Woodford," he says.

    “This isn't just about the failure of Woodford. More importantly it's about the failure of the regulatory system and in particular the FCA."

    He's called for an independent inquiry into "this debacle, including the role of the FCA".

    "Until we have the results of such an inquiry I have recommended to the chancellor that it is only proper that he delays the installation of [Andrew] Bailey as the Governor of the Bank of England.”

  5. Woodford investors to get first payout on Thursday

    Neil Woodford

    Some 300,000 investors stuck in Neil Woodford's flagship Equity Income fund have been told how much money they can expect in their first payout since the fund was suspended last June.

    Link Fund Solutions, which took over the fund, has written to investors this morning detailing the amounts.

    Investors will get between around 46p and 59p per share depending on what kind of shares they hold. Investors should get the cash in their bank accounts on Thursday, although those investors through a platform will have to wait for the payment to be processed.

    "The payment of the first tranche of the liquidated assets will be a relief for thousands of investors who have been trapped in the fund since June last year, but there is still huge uncertainty around the money still stuck in illiquid assets," said Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell.

    He said the payout was around 70% of the total value of the fund.

  6. I've been lied to, says Woodford fund investor

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Neil Woodford
    Image caption: Neil Woodford was once considered a "star" fund manager

    By the end of this week, people who invested in Neil Woodford's flagship Equity Income Fund will learn how much money they can recover as administrators liquidate the assets.

    The fund was closed - or gated - earlier this year, trapping around 300,000 investors.

    Anne Sweeney from Preston tells Wake Up to Money that she had invested money in Woodford's fund through Hargreaves Lansdown.

    "I feel very disappointed and letdown like I've been lied to, blatantly lied to," she says.

    "Currently I'm walking away with £12.500 from the Equity Income Fund from £20,000. It might be less, it is likely to be less, articles have said it might be less."

    Hargreaves Lansdown told Wake Up to Money it has apologised to clients for the distress, uncertainty and inconvenience caused by the gating of the fund

    "We share their deep frustration at what has happened and continue to waive our fees while it remains closed," it said.

  7. Dividends for Woodford

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Neil Woodford

    Investors remain trapped in the Woodford equity income fund, which is being wound up by administrators after being suspended in June last year.

    But the annual report for Neil Woodford’s fund management operation shows that he and his business partner took £14m in dividends from the company in the 12 months to last March.

    Chris Cummings, head of the Investment Association, said it was “highly unusual” to see any fund suspended at all.

    He also told the Today programme that in other cases, fund managers have reduced charges they might take on a fund when it is suspended.

    He added that the “main priority” should be the interest of investors.

  8. ASI to manage Woodford Income Focus

    Aberdeen Standard Investments has been appointed as investment manager of the Woodford Income Focus Fund, one of the funds which used to be run by Neil Woodford, Link which oversees the fund has announced.

    The name of the fund will change from “LF Woodford Income Focus Fund” to “LF ASI Income Focus Fund”.

  9. More than half of Woodford fund already sold

    More on that Woodford Equity Income news.

    Link Asset Services said that BlackRock, the US investment bank appointed to sell off the Fund's assets, has managed to raise £1.65bn from the sale of 56% of the fund since it was given the task last month.

    It was also 79% of the value of one of the fund's parts, Portfolio A.

    It added: "It is important to note that BlackRock has managed to realise the assets in Portfolio A in a way that safeguards value in those assets rather than through a ‘fire sale’. BlackRock will continue with this approach for the liquidation of the remaining 21% of Portfolio A which are generally less liquid stocks than those assets sold so far."

  10. BreakingWoodford fund to be wound up from January

    Neil Woodford

    The Woodford Equity Income Fund will be wound up next year with investors beginning to get their cash returned from 20 January.

    In a letter sent to investors today, Link Asset Services said the fund would change its name immediately to the LF Equity Income Fund.

    The winding up of the fund will commence on 18 January.

  11. Woodford Income Focus Fund to remain shut

    Neil Woodford

    The Woodford Income Focus Fund is staying shut as administrators continue to try to find a new manager or choose to roll it up into another fund.

    In a letter sent to investors today, Link Asset Services said that the fund - suspended on 15 October - would remain shut for another 21 days while it explores options, although it states that "We are now in the final stages of that process".

    It promises: "We will write to you again as soon as our review is complete and in any event this will be no later than 30 December 2019."

    Since suspension the fund value has fallen 1.99% while the FTSE All-Share has risen 0.21%.

  12. Woodford investors face losses

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    nield woodfrd

    Investors in Neil Woodford's Equity Income fund face losing a third of their savings, according to the bank PJH Park Hill commissioned by the administrator of the fund.

    The findings were reported by Citywire which said savers in fund would lose 32.5% of their savings, or up to 42.6% in a worse case scenario.

    Shanti Kelemen, investment director, Brown Shipley, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that "when you are selling things in a hurry you often have quite a big discount”

  13. Woodford Income Focus Fund to remain shut

    Neil Woodford

    The Woodford Income Focus Fund is staying shut as administrators continue to try to find a new manager or choose to roll it up into another fund.

    In a letter sent to investors today, Link Asset Services said that the fund - suspended on 15 October - would remain shut for another 21 days while it explores options.

    Since suspension the fund value has fallen 0.33% while the FTSE All-Share has risen 2.12%.

  14. Woodford fund slashes value of Brad Pitt-backed cold fusion firm

    Brad Pitt

    A fund formerly run by crisis-hit Neil Woodford has slashed the value of its stake in a Brad Pitt-backed nuclear energy company.

    Woodford Patient Capital Trust cut the valuation of its holding in Industrial Heat, an unproved cold fusion venture, by £45m.

    It is the second time that Mr Woodford's former fund has written down Industrial Heat, which plans to develop a controversial and unproven nuclear technology.

    The fund took a £30m writedown on the company in August.

    The Woodford funds own around a quarter of Industrial Heat, which was once valued at nearly $1bn (£774m).

  15. More frustration for Woodford investors

    Neil Woodford

    Frustrations continue for investors with cash locked away in the Woodford Income Focus Fund.

    Two weeks ago shares in the Fund were suspended from dealing amid a rush to pull out investor money.

    Today Link Asset Services - which runs the fund - has written to investors to tell them the Fund will remain suspended until at least 13 November.

    In that two weeks Link will decide whether to appoint another investment manager to replace Neil Woodford or transfer the fund's assets into another fund.

    However there's one sliver of good news: since suspension the fund has slightly outperformed the FTSE All-share index.

    The Woodford Income Focus Fund has climbed 1.39% since 15 October while the FTSE All-Share is up just 1.10%.

  16. Woodford fund rises 30%

    Neil Woodford

    Shares in Woodford Patient Capital Trust climbed 30% today after it revealed that Schroders will take over its management, as we reported this morning.

    As an investment trust, Woodford Patient Capital is listed on the stock market and has a board of directors that oversees it and is independent from the fund manager.

    Schroders said it will manage the fund in line with "existing investment objective and policy".

    The share price rose above 40.0 earlier but has now slipped back slightly to 38.50.