Provident Financial winners and losers: Two mammoth asset managers may be nursing a £750m headache

Oliver Gill
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Provident Financial operates across a number of brands such as Vanquis Bank and Satsuma Loans (Source: Getty)

Provident Financial, Britain's biggest doorstep lender, is in trouble this morning.

It is far from common to see shares in a FTSE 100 company dive over 60 per cent in a matter of minutes.

At the start of the day Provident Financial had a market cap of just over £3.1bn, half of what the firm's shares were worth in May.

So which investors have won and lost?


Both Neil Woodford and the Henley-based investment house where he made his name could well be reeling this morning.

According to a filing on Provident Financial's website, Invesco and Woodford Investment Management own 40 per cent of the firm's stock between them, in a broadly even split.

With the stock down 60 per cent this morning, the asset management duo could be shouldering losses of a whopping £750m.

Provident Financial major shareholders as at 27 July 2017

Invesco Ltd. 20.17 per cent
Woodford Investment Management (UK) 19.90 per cent
BlackRock Inc 6.44 per cent
Marathon Asset Management LLP (UK) 4.69 per cent
M&G Investment Management Ltd. (UK) 4.53 per cent

Read more: Woodford-backed Provident Financial shares in freefall as chief exec walks


In the City you can back a horse and you can bet against it.

According to filings on the Financial Conduct Authority's website, some 3.7 per cent of Provident Financial's stock was on loan to hedge funds looking to short the shares.

With close to £1.9bn lost in terms of Provident Financial's share value, the three hedge funds listed will have booked £70m in profit for less than an hour's work.

The largest nay-sayer has been Lansdowne Partners. It has 2.19 per cent of stock on loan and has had that position since April 2016, according to the filing.

This means Lansdowne is in line to book a profit of more than £100m for sticking to its guns.

Hedge fund

Short position

Date position placed

AQR Capital Management, LLC 1.01 per cent 2017-08-08
Lansdowne Partners (UK) LLP 2.19 per cent 2016-04-12
Systematica Investments Limited 0.50 per cent 2017-08-09

Read more: Over half a billion pounds wiped off Provident Financial market cap

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