finance

Scottish manager takes over remaining Woodford fund



One of controversial trader Neil Woodford’s funds has been handed over to Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The £267.6 million LF Woodford Income Focus Fund will now be managed by Charles Luke and Thomas Moore and renamed the LF ASI Income Focus Fund. ASI’s 16-strong equity team led by Andrew Millington will support the fund managers.

Trading in the fund was suspended in October after Woodford resigned from his Woodford Investment Management business which is to be wound up. The firm’s flagship Woodford Equity Fund is to be closed down after a rush of investors withdrew their stakes and it was left unable to realise illiquid assets and sell unquoted stocks.

ASI said it aimed to reposition the Income Focus Fund portfolio “as efficiently and effectively as possible for the existing shareholders” and to reopen it by February. ASI, the fund administrator LFS and custodian Northern Trust Global Services SE have all agreed to waive their fees until 31st May, 2020.

Kristy Barr, UK distribution director at ASI, said: “As the UK’s largest active asset manager we have a very strong focus on our UK equity franchise and this income strategy is a fantastic enhancement to our offering. The excellent long-term track records of Thomas and Charles as well as the robustness of our research and risk processes gives us the confidence that we can deliver the expected investment outcome for the existing shareholders as well as others looking for long-term income and capital growth.”

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ASI head of UK equities Millington added: “The team and I are honoured to have been given the opportunity to act as Investment Manager of the LF ASI Income Focus Fund. We recognise the issues that may have weighed on the minds of investors in the Fund over the past months and we are resolute in our determination to turn things around for them.

“We will reposition the Fund into a focused portfolio of our favoured, liquid UK equity income names aiming to generate sustainable long-term income growth for its investors. The scale of our UK equity business means we will manage turnover of stocks to minimise costs and set the Fund on the right track for 2020 and beyond.”



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