June 21, 2019 / 8:38 AM / in a month

Openwork hands $400 million Woodford fund mandate to Jupiter

LONDON (Reuters) - British wealth manager Openwork’s Omnis Investments has picked Jupiter Asset Management to run a 317 million pound ($402.46 million) fund formerly run by Woodford Investment Management, it said on Friday.

Openwork and St James’s Place pulled separate mandates from Woodford totaling nearly four billion pounds shortly after the British fund manager suspended its 3.7 billion pound Equity Income fund on June 3.

The Woodford suspension has provoked strong reactions from British politicians and led to a probe by regulators over the fund’s exposure to unlisted and illiquid stocks. Hundreds of thousands of savers invested in the fund and do not know when they will get their money back.

Openwork said in a statement that it decided to change managers in May “as part of Omnis’ focus on delivering the best outcomes for clients and the advisers that serve them”.

It said it chose Jupiter to run the fund following a competitive selection process, and it will be run by Ben Whitmore, Jupiter’s head of strategy, value equities.

Jupiter chief investment officer Stephen Pearson said in a separate statement that the asset manager’s UK portfolio manager Richard Curling “will thoroughly analyse and manage the fund’s small and unquoted holdings and, over time, bring this element of the portfolio in line with Ben’s strategy”.

($1 = 0.7876 pounds)

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Simon Jessop and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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