24 December 2019 - Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has been appointed by Link Fund Solutions Limited as the new investment manager of the LF Woodford Income Focus fund.
Subject to regulatory approval, the fund will be renamed LF ASI Income Focus fund and will be managed by ASI’s Charles Luke and Thomas Moore, supported by the 16-strong UK equity team led by Andrew Millington.
Commenting on the appointment, an ASI spokesperson said: “ASI’s priority is to reposition the portfolio as efficiently and effectively as possible for the existing shareholders. The aim is to re-open the fund no later than February.”
ASI, Link Fund Solutions and Northern Trust Global Services SE (the depositary, administrator and custodian for the fund) have all agreed to waive their fees until 31 May 2020.
The LF ASI Income Focus fund will be a high conviction portfolio of around 30 liquid UK equity holdings, drawing on the best income ideas from ASI’s 16-strong UK equity research team. As active equity investors, the team believes company fundamentals ultimately drive share prices but are often valued inefficiently in the shorter term. The team maintains full coverage of the FTSE 350 and conducts over 750 company meetings annually.
Risk management is an integral part of ASI’s equity management process, and portfolios are formally reviewed on a regular basis as part of a rigorous and well established management and peer review process within the investment teams. Over and above that, ASI’s stand-alone Investment Governance and Oversight Team (IGO) provides and scrutinises detailed portfolio specific risk analytics, as well as performing liquidity analysis, on all portfolios.
Andrew Millington, Head of UK Equities at Aberdeen Standard Investments, commented: “We recognise 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. We will reposition the fund into a focused portfolio of our favoured, liquid UK equity income names aiming to generate sustainable long-term income growth for its investors. The scale of our UK equity business means we will manage turnover of stocks to minimise costs and set the fund on the right track for 2020 and beyond.”
In a separate announcement, Link Fund Solutions Limited said that the LF Woodford Equity Income fund had been renamed the LF Equity Income fund on 11 December 2019.
The name change reflects the fact that Woodford Investment Management is no longer the investment manager following the decision by Link Fund Solutions to wind-up the fund.
Link Fund Solutions has also confirmed that the winding up of the fund has received FCA approval and will proceed from 18 January 2020.
It is expected that the first capital distribution from the fund will take place during January, with further payments throughout 2020. Chelsea will keep investors up-to-date once regarding the winding up of the fund once Link Fund Solutions had confirmed the details of the first payment. The fund remains suspended, which means that investors are unable to buy, sell or transfer units in the fund.