Link Fund Solutions appointed Aberdeen Standard Investments as the manager of £267.6 million ($296 million) LF Woodford Income Focus Fund, a spokeswoman said. The move follows the October shutdown of previous manager London-based Woodford Investment Management.
Subject to regulatory approval, the renamed LF ASI Income Focus Fund will be managed by Charles Luke and Thomas Moore, Aberdeen's high-conviction equity income fund managers. The fund is expected to reopen at the end of February. It was suspended Oct. 15 by Link Fund Solutions after an increased level of redemptions that followed news of another one of Woodford's funds.
In June, Woodford Investment Management suspended the trading of LF Woodford Equity Income Fund as a result of a declining performance and to avoid redemptions. Link Fund Solutions subsequently closed the fund Oct. 17, citing uncertainty in repositioning the portfolio to meet investors' redemption requests. On Oct. 17, the £6.4 billion Kent County Council Pension Fund, Maidstone, Kent, one of the institutional investors in the fund, said on its website that redemption of its £263 million investment would be executed "later than previously hoped." However, on Dec. 13, Link Fund Solutions said the fund would be wound down and investments returned to investors on Jan. 18.
"We recognize the issues that may have weighed on the minds of investors in the fund over the past months and we are resolute in our determination to turn things around for them," Andrew Millington, head of U.K. equities at Aberdeen Standard Investments said in a news release Friday "We will reposition (the LF Woodford Income Focus Fund) into a focused portfolio of our favored, liquid U.K. (equities), aiming to generate sustainable long-term income growth for its investors."
The fund will be marketed primarily to retail investors but will be open to institutional investors, with terms unchanged. The depository, administrator and custodian of the fund agreed to waive their fees until May 31.