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Woodford fund suspensions

Update as of 10 Jan 2020

LF Equity Income Fund closure and dates

The date of the capital distribution for the LF Equity Income Fund has been moved back to the end of January by the fund's Authorised Corporate Director (ACD), Link Fund Solutions.  

This follows the approval by the Financial Conduct Authority in December for the ACD to close the fund, and means that the first capital distribution will be paid out on or around 30 January, instead of 20 January as originally planned.

The payout should appear as cash in investors' accounts about three working days after the distribution. As previously noted (below) the value of this capital distribution will depend on the number of shares held by each investor. Following the distribution, investors will continue to hold the same number of shares in the fund, but the value of them will be correspondingly lower.

You can read the official statement for full details of this announcement.

Update as of 20 December 2019

LF Woodford Income Focus Fund new management

Link Fund Solutions, the Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) of the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund, announced that it has appointed Aberdeen Standard Life Investments Ltd as the investment manager of this fund. Aberdeen will replace Woodford as the investment manager on 31 December 2019, and the fund will be renamed accordingly to the LF ASI Income Focus Fund.

Aberdeen intends to re-position the fund’s portfolio in a way it considers will best add value for investors, and will actively seek to grow the assets in the fund and to attract additional investments.

The ACD believes that based on assurances it has received from Aberdeen, the best interests of investors (those who wish to retain their holding and those who wish to redeem their holding) will be met by re-opening the fund. The ACD expects to provide an update on progress in January 2020, with a date for when it expects to resume dealing in the fund.

Aberdeen, the ACD and the depositary (Northern Trust Global Services SE) will waive their fees until 31 May 2020, though some additional portfolio transaction costs will be incurred as a result of selling and buying assets to re-position the fund.

You can read the official statement for full details of this announcement.

Update as of 13 December 2019

FCA approval of LF Woodford Equity Income Fund renaming and closure

Link Fund Solutions, the Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) of the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, announced that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has given approval for the name change and closing of the fund.

This means that the fund is now called the LF Equity Income Fund with immediate effect, and the winding up will begin on 18 January. Payment of the first capital distribution is anticipated around 20 January (now updated to 30 January - see above), and will be based on the number of shares held by each investor. Continued payments will follow until all assets are realised.

The ACD has not yet confirmed the payment amounts; we will inform our clients of these as soon as the ACD confirms them.

You can read the official statement for full details of this announcement.

Update as of 24 October 2019

Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc

The Board of Woodford Patient Capital Trust confirmed that Schroder Investment Management will take over the Woodford Patient Capital Trust by the end of the year.

The investment company will be renamed Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc. There will be no change to the company's existing investment objective and policy.

On appointment, Schroders will not take a management fee for three months. Further details to come following Schroders' formal appointment. You can read the official statement for full details of this announcement.

Update as of 16 October 2019

LF Woodford Income Focus Fund suspension

Link Fund Solutions, the Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) of the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund, has decided to suspend dealing in shares in this fund, with effect from 15 October 2019 and until further notice. This means you will no longer be able to buy or sell shares in this fund.

We restricted new investments in the Woodford Income Focus Fund in June, because we felt this was in the best interests of our customers. That restriction remains; you will now not be able to invest in this fund through other investment platforms either.

The ACD decided to suspend this fund following the resignation of the fund's manager, Woodford Investment Management. The ACD believes this resignation would result in it being unable to meet redemption requests without prejudicing the interests of both remaining and redeeming investors.

The ACD believes the suspension is in the best interests of investors and during the suspension will consider the options available, including the appointment of an alternative investment manager, a scheme of arrangement into another fund or a winding-up of the fund.

The suspension will cease as soon as the ACD determines the course of action that is in the best interests of investors. The ACD will formally review the suspension at least every 28 days and expects to provide an update within the next 14 days.

You can read the official statement for full details of this announcement.

Update as of 15 October 2019

Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc management

Woodford Investment Management announced that it will cease its role as portfolio manager of the Woodford Patient Capital Trust in January 2020.

The trust remains open for buys, sells and switches. Any regular savings plans and regular withdrawal plans linked to the trust will continue as usual.

The trust's board is in advanced discussions relating to the ongoing management of the portfolio and expects to announce details of the new management shortly.

As an investment trust, this is a different type of investment from LF Woodford Equity Income and LF Woodford Income Focus. Its shares are traded between investors on a secondary exchange. This means the fund manager does not have to dispose of holdings because an investor has decided to sell shares.

LF Woodford Equity Income Fund closure

Link Fund Solutions, the ACD of the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, announced that it intends to close the Woodford Equity Income Fund by selling the assets and returning the proceeds to investors.

The decision is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Pending that approval, Link expects to start winding up the fund on 17 January 2020.

Proceeds will then be placed into cash in clients’ existing accounts as interim payments, which will then be available for reinvestment.

Link expects to start winding up the fund on 17 January 2020.

Link made the decision after a careful review of the fund and its holdings indicated that the repositioning of the portfolio did not provide reasonable certainty as to when the fund could be re-opened.

Woodford Investment Management will cease to be the investment manager of the fund, effective immediately. The fund will also be renamed as the LF Equity Income Fund.

You can read the official Q&A for full details of this announcement..

Woodford FAQs

Why was the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund suspended?
How long will the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund suspension last?
What is happening to the LF Equity Income Fund?
Why is the LF Equity Income Fund closing?
What will happen to my investments in the LF Equity Income Fund?
When will I get the proceeds from the sale of the assets in the LF Equity Income Fund?
Who is Link Fund Solutions?
What is an Authorised Corporate Director (ACD)?
Is it possible to sell investments in suspended funds?
Why was the LF Equity Income Fund originally suspended?
Will Woodford continue to be the investment manager of the LF Equity Income Fund?
Will I be able to sell my investment in the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund or the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund?
Will the value of my investment in the LF Equity Income Fund change now the fund is closing?
Will the value of my investment in the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund change while the fund is suspended?
Why did you restrict investments in the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund before this fund was suspended?
What will happen to my income payments?
What will happen to my regular savings plan (RSP)?
Will my dividends be reinvested?
What is happening to Woodford Patient Capital Trust?
How does this affect Woodford Patient Capital Trust?
What will happen if I am transferring an investment in the LF Equity Income fund?
What will happen if I am transferring an investment in the Woodford Income Focus fund?
Are you waiving your Service Fee for these funds?
Where can I go for the latest information?

If you require any further guidance or information, please contact your financial adviser.