A new management group has been hired to run the LF Woodford Income Focus fund.
The fate of Neil Woodford’s other open-ended fund has been decided, with Aberdeen Standard Investments appointed to manage the LF Woodford Income Focus fund.
Thomas Moore and Charles Luke will manage the £268 million fund, which was suspended on 15 October following the resignation and subsequent swift closure of Woodford Investment Management.
Aberdeen Standard Investments aim to re-open the fund “no later than February”, with a new investment approach involving a high-conviction portfolio of around 30 holdings.
Kristy Barr, UK Distribution Director at Aberdeen Standard Investments, comments: “As the UK’s largest active asset manager we have a very strong focus on our UK equity franchise, and this income strategy is a fantastic enhancement to our offering.
“The excellent long-term track records of Thomas Moore and Charles Luke, as well as the robustness of our research and risk processes, give us the confidence that we can deliver the expected investment outcome for the existing shareholders as well as others looking for long-term income and capital growth.”
Over the past couple of years both managers have had their own performance issues. The board of Murray Income investment trust, managed by Luke, criticised the manager’s performance at the end of 2017. Since then, though, performance has notably improved, with both net asset value and share price returns comfortably ahead of the average UK equity income trust sector over one, three and five years.
Moore, who manages the Aberdeen Standard Equity Income trust, has faced boardroom criticism more recently. Last month chairman Richard Burns penned some stern words in the trust’s annual financial report for the year (ending in September 2019).
He said: “After a performance in 2018 which I described as ‘solid’, our results this year have come as a considerable disappointment.”
Meanwhile, investors stuck in Neil Woodford’s Equity Income fund are due to start receiving money back in January. The first payout to investors will come in several instalments over a number of months and its value will be based on how many shares each investor holds.