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Date set for Woodford Income Focus fund to re-open

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
31/01/2020
Investors stuck in the former Woodford Income Focus fund have been told it will re-open on 13 February under new management and a new name.

The LF ASI Income Focus fund (formerly the LF Woodford Income Focus fund) will re-open in two weeks, following Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) appointment as manager last month.

The news comes three months after investors were trapped as dealing in the £267m fund was suspended.

In a letter to investors, administrator Link Fund Solutions (LFS) confirmed investors will be able to buy and sell shares from midday on 12 February, and the first valuation of the fund following its re-opening will be at midday on 13 February.

The fund’s income yield target will also be changed from its former aim of 5p per share per annum to a yield higher than the average yield of the FTSE All Share Index over a three-year rolling period.

Investors will also be aware that new fund manager ASI said the Income Focus fund will be a high conviction portfolio of around 30 liquid UK equity holdings which is a big change from when the fund was suspended.

Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell, said: “This news will bring welcome relief to those investors who have been stuck in the fund since it suspended back in October. While smaller than the ill-fated Equity Income fund, there is £250m in the fund that will re-open under new management and follow a different investment approach.

“Investors will now need to consider whether they are happy with the new management of Aberdeen Standard Investments who have said they will operate a more concentrated investment portfolio and a different yield target. This means the fund re-opens with a totally different portfolio to when it suspended.”

Hughes listed Troy Trojan Income fund and the Threadneedle UK Equity Income fund which both have a focus on larger companies and currently provide a yield of 4% per annum as alternatives.

“With this news coming soon after the update on the Equity Income fund, the issues that have blighted investors in Woodford’s funds, look to be coming to a welcome close,” he added.

ASI, Link and custodian for the fund, Northern Trust Global Services SE, have all agreed to waive their fees until 31 May 2020 which will offset some of the costs associated with the repositioning of the portfolio, the letter stated.

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