Woodford’s flagship fund to stay closed until December
Investors have been unable to access their money since the flagship fund was suspended on 3 June. Veteran stock picker Neil Woodford was forced to pull down the shutters after a stampede of investors requested their money back following a long period of underperformance.
The fund, which at its peak held £10bn of assets, experienced outflows of roughly £9m every working day in May.
In a statement published on his website, Woodford said: “I understand the frustration, inconvenience and anxiety the continued suspension of the fund will be causing you and I am extremely sorry for putting you in this situation.
“Since our last update a month ago, we have made progress with our strategy to reduce our exposure to unquoted and less liquid stocks with our primary focus being on delivering the best possible outcomes for investors in the fund.
“What you will see when the fund re-opens, is a portfolio with more FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies (80% of the proceeds from share sales since suspension have been reinvested in FTSE 100 companies), but still reflecting the same investment strategy.”
Woodford has faced backlash from investors for continuing to charge management fees during the suspension. The stricken manager is reportedly taking in £100,000 a day.
Link, the fund’s administrator, said: “The suspension will be lifted when the fund’s repositioning is complete, with less exposure to illiquid stocks. Until then, we are committed to operating the fund in a way that continues to protect the value of your savings, both for those who wish to remain invested and for others who will seek to withdraw from the fund.”