Friday 31 January 2020 3:33 pm

Reopening date for Woodford Income Focus Fund revealed

An investment fund that once formed part of Neil Woodford’s empire is due to reopen five months after it was frozen, administrator Link Fund Solutions said today.

The £268m ASI Income Focus Fund, formerly the Woodford Income Focus Fund, will begin operations again on 13 February, ending a long period of limbo for investors.

Once heralded as a star stockpicker, Woodford’s investment empire began to collapse when his flagship Equity Income Fund was gated in June last year after investors demanded their money back en masse.

After Woodford closed his business and resigned from managing the fund in October, administrators Link froze the Income Focus Fund, a smaller part of the range.

Link announced in December that Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) would take over the fund. ASI said it will waive management fees until May 2020.

In a letter to investors today, Link managing director Karl Midl said that on 13 February “the suspension of dealings in the shares of the fund will be lifted and it will again be possible for you to buy and sell shares in the fund”.

He cautioned investors that there were “costs associated with the repositioning of the portfolio which was necessary to enable the fund to re-open”. Midl said these would be made known to investors “prior to the reopening of the fund”.

Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at investment manager AJ Bell, said: “This news will bring welcome relief to those investors who have been stuck in the fund since it suspended back in October.”

Hughes said the question for investors now is whether they are happy with ASI, who will operate a more concentrated investment portfolio.

“This means the fund re-opens with a totally different portfolio to when it suspended,” he said.

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