Sunday 23 June 2019 6:59 pm

Hargreaves Lansdown execs to defer bonuses amid Woodford fund troubles

Two senior executives at Hargreaves Lansdown have echoed the actions of the firm’s boss after volunteering to defer their bonuses in the wake of an investment scandal involving Neil Woodford.

Research director Mark Dampier and chief investment officer Lee Gardhouse have shelved their annual bonuses as their investment platform faces growing pressure over its backing of fund manager Woodford’s suspended flagship fund.

Read more: Omnis investments replaces Woodford

The move, first reported in the Sunday Times, comes several days after Hargreaves Lansdown chief executive Chris Hill pledged to defer his £2.1m bonus until the fund reopens.

Hill has also promised to put more pressure on Woodford, saying: “We will continue to put pressure on Woodford Investment Management to sell out of their unquoted stocks in the Woodford Equity Income Fund.”

Hargreaves Lansdown has said that almost a quarter of its clients, or nearly 300,000, are exposed to Neil Woodford’s suspended fund.

Last week the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it had launched an investigation into the suspension of Woodford’s Equity Income fund. FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey confirmed the probe in a letter to Treasury Committee head Nicky Morgan MP.

The Equity Income fund was suspended on 3 June after Kent County Council tried to withdraw its £263m pension fund. The letter also reveals the FCA has been concerned about the liquidity of the fund since February 2018.

Read more: Hargreaves Lansdown boss angered by suspension

Last week wealth manager Openwork’s Omnis Investments chose Jupiter Asset Management to run a £317m fund that was formally run by Woodford’s firm.

Openwork removed Woodford Investment Management from the Omnis Income and Growth fund shortly after Woodford suspended its fund on 3 June. St James’s Place also pulled a separate mandate from Woodford following the decision to freeze the fund.