July 29, 2019 / 2:53 PM / 2 months ago

Woodford fund likely to remain suspended until December: Link

FILE PHOTO: British fund manager Neil Woodford is seen in this undated handout image released July 18, 2019. Jonathan Atkins/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The suspension of Neil Woodford’s LF Woodford Equity Income Fund is unlikely to be lifted until December, the fund’s authorized corporate director Link Fund Solutions said in a letter to investors on Monday.

Woodford, one of Britain’s best-known money managers, suspended the equity income fund on June 3 after being unable to meet redemption requests, sparking an outcry among investors and prompting an investigation by the country’s markets watchdog.

In a letter to investors posted on its website, Link said it believed a suspension until December would give the manager time to reposition the fund’s portfolio into more liquid assets, in order to give money back to clients that seek to leave when the suspension is lifted.

Link has to review the suspension every 28 days and communicate its decision to investors.

Famed for delivering returns by avoiding the tech bubble in the early 2000s and dodging a hit from the financial crisis several years later, Woodford now faces being sacked from managing the assets of his namesake listed investment fund.

The company board of Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT.L) has the ability to appoint another manager to run the assets and said on Monday it was considering offers from “third parties” to do just that.

Woodford put gates up on the fund after being unable to meet redemption requests totaling nearly 300 million pounds.

Reporting by Simon Jessop and Lena Masri, editing by Huw Jones

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