Wednesday 3 July 2019 5:10 pm

Neil Woodford cuts staff numbers as fund suspension continues

Embattled fund manager Neil Woodford is set to slash staff numbers at his firm’s headquarters following the suspension of his flagship fund. 

The redundancies are expected to affect a small number of staff at Woodford Investment Management’s Oxford office. 

Read more: Woodford sells shrimp shares on the stock floor

The firm employed around 45 members of staff on 31 March last year, when it last published accounts. 

A spokesperson for Woodford said: “We have reluctantly entered into redundancy consultations with a number of staff to advise them that their roles are at risk.”

Woodford, who was once regarded as a star trader, has been battling to rebalance his Equity Income fund since trading was suspended last month following a spike in investor withdrawals. 

He said he would use the suspension time to reduce the fund’s exposure to illiquid and unquoted stocks down to zero. 

However, the fund manager defended his strategy of focusing on “undervalued assets” in a video shared on social media earlier this week. 

Read more: Neil Woodford keeps flagship fund under lock and key

The flagship fund remains suspended until at least 29 July when the position will be reviewed.

Despite condemnation from MPs and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Woodford has refused to suspend management fees for the fund’s investors, and is thought to be receiving £100,000 per day in fees.

The FCA is investigating the suspension.