Link directors pocketed £2.7m in run up to Woodford fund suspension

Christopher Addenbrooke and Karl Midl also presided over Arch Cru and Connaught scandals

A pair of directors at Link Fund Solutions who presided over a series of scandals at the authorised corporate director, including the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income fund shared in a £2.7m payout in the run up to the fund’s suspension.  

The Times reported that directors Christopher Addenbrooke and Karl Midl along with four other directors at the ACD pocketed £1.7m in the 18 months to 30 June 2019 weeks after Woodford’s former fund halted dealing. 

On top of this Addenbrooke, who is chief executive of the ACD, also split £930,771 that was paid out over the same period to Link Fund Administrators and Link Alternative Fund Administrators where he is one of three directors. 

Addenbrooke and Midl were directors at Link Fund Solutions during its previous incarnation as Capita Financial Managers where they oversaw two other high-profile fund collapses, The Times noted. 

Capita was fined £66m by the FCAshortly after it was acquired by Link in November 2017, for the mis-selling of the Connaught Income fund which was billed as a low-risk product.  

It also presided over the Arch Cru scandal where 20,000 retail investors lost out on £250m after being misled over the fund’s risk and liquidity, in a situation that mirrors the Woodford Equity Income suspension. Capita was asked to fork over £32m as part of a settlement in 2012.  

Midl was promoted to Link Fund Solutions’ managing director last May, reporting directly to Addenbrooke, a month before the Woodford Equity Income fund suspended. 

Link Fund Solutions currently oversees £85bn worth of assets, including the remaining £444m still trapped in Woodford’s former fund, which has been rebranded LF Equity Income.  

Analysis from The Times showed the maximum amount LF Equity Income investors will receive once the wind down of the fund is complete is £2.7bn, billion-pounds shorter than the £3.7bn it held at suspension in June 2019.  

So far £2.1bn has been paid out to investors in January with a further £143m distributed in March.

However The Times noted that there was a £122m hole in the fund’s latest official valuation, which Link blamed on asset and currency movements over the period that was assessed. 

Link Fund Solutions has also come under fire for its handling of the £224m sale of 19 of the fund’s healthcare assets to Acacia Research which flipped them days after acquiring them, ostensibly for a profit. 

Last week the ACD teased a third payment of £58m from the Acacia sale but reports have suggested investors may have to wait until December to receive the full distribution.

Link Fund Solutions declined to comment.

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