Wednesday 16 October 2019 10:36 am

Administrator freezes another Woodford fund after bruising day

The administrators of Neil Woodford’s money management empire have announced the suspension of another of his funds, the £253m Woodford Income Focus Fund, over fears customers will rush to withdraw their money.

The move follows the resignation of Woodford as manager of the fund yesterday, a day when the formerly-lauded stockpicker shuttered his investment company and was sacked from his flagship Equity Income Fund (WEIF).

Read more: How Neil Woodford’s star came crashing down to earth

Link said that due to Woodford’s resignation, it “expects that the redemptions in the fund will reach a level whereby it may no longer be able to continue to meet redemption requests without prejudicing the interests of both remaining and redeeming investors”.

Link said would consider options including the appointment of a different investment manager to run the fund, integrating Income Focus into another fund, or winding up the fund entirely.

The administrator said it would “decide on the course of action that is in the best interests of all investors”, and that Neil Woodford has “committed to continue to work collaboratively” with Link during the process.

Woodford declined to comment on the suspension.

Income Focus is the second Woodford fund to be suspended this year. His flagship WEIF was suspended in June after becoming overwhelmed by investor withdrawals.

Read more: Q&A: Why was Woodford’s Equity Income Fund shut down?

Woodford resigned as manager of his Patient Capital Investment Trust (WPCT) a few hours later, and announced he had taken the “highly painful” decision to shutter his investment company shortly afterwards.

Link was also responsible for overseeing the suspension of WEIF, but announced yesterday that it had been unable to offload enough of the portfolio’s hard-to-sell assets to guarantee it could resume trading. The company decided to close the fund, sack Woodford as its manager, and remove his name from it.

Shares in WPCT were down almost seven per cent in morning trading.