In a fall from grace considered one of the most dramatic in London’s recent financial history, former star manager Neil Woodford is being ousted from his position and his flagship fund wound down. This according to a recent Bloomberg article.
Link Fund Solutions reported this week that the administrator of the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund hired BlackRock Inc. to prepare the portfolio for liquidation. In an emailed statement, Woodford rebutted, “This was Link’s decision and one I cannot accept, nor believe is in the long-term interests of LF Woodford Equity Income fund investors.”
The article notes that Woodford, who built his reputation by predicting major swings in tech, tobacco and other stocks over the past two decades, suffered “poor performance in recent years, after he set up his own company,” which “led to 22 straight months of investor withdrawals. That culminated in the June suspension of the Equity Income fund—a step that’s considered a last resort in the industry.”
BlackRock said it will “seek to maximize value for investors, balancing the need for a timely return of capital with the challenges of the illiquidity profile of the portfolio.”