Woodford Income Focus fund to reopen in February

The last surviving fund from Neil Woodford’s defunct investment empire will reopen in February, ending a long period of uncertainty for investors.

The Woodford Income Focus will reopen on February 13, while trading in its shares will resume from midday on the day before, said Aberdeen Standard Investments, which took over as investment manager for the fund in December.

The £268m fund was frozen by Link Fund Solutions, its administrator, in October after Mr Woodford closed his business and resigned from managing the fund.

Mr Woodford’s business imploded after a crisis at his flagship Equity Income fund, which stemmed from exposure to hard-to-sell assets. Both Link and Woodford Investment Management are under investigation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Ryan Hughes, the head of active portfolios at AJ Bell said that ASI will take a different investment approach, and that the fund will reopen with a “totally different” portfolio than the portfolio it had when it was suspended.

Mr Hughes added: “With this news coming soon after the update on the equity income fund, the issues that have blighted investors in Woodford’s funds look to be coming to a welcome close.”

ASI previously announced that it would waive fees for its management on the fund from December 20 to May 31 2020.

Karl Midl, managing director of Link, said in a statement: “The resulting savings to the fund will offset some of the costs associated with the repositioning of the portfolio which was necessary for the fund to reopen.”

The full extent of these costs will be made known to investors prior to the reopening next month.

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