Link updates on fate of Woodford Income Focus

UK equity fund has outperformed since it suspended earlier this month

Link has employed an independent research firm as it outlines three options for the future of the Woodford Income Focus fund in its first update for investors since suspension.

Woodford Income Focus suspended on 15 October, immediately following news that Woodford Investment Management was winding down.

The fund has outperformed the FTSE All Share benchmark since suspension returning 1.4% compared to 1.1%.

In a letter to unitholders from Link Fund Solutions director Karl Midl, published Wednesday morning, Link said it would seek either a replacement manager, a fund merger or a wind-down of the strategy. It has employed an independent investment research firm to examine the first two options.

It is already engaged with several investment managers that have indicated their interest in running the strategy but the research firm is tasked with identifying others that may be suitable for the UK equity strategy.

The research firm is also aiding the search for potential funds the Income Focus strategy could merge with via a scheme of arrangement. It would seek a fund with a similar objective and policy that is subject to the same regulatory supervision. Unitholders would have the chance to vote on this proposal.

If neither option pans out, Link would look to wind-up the fund.

All changes require approval from the FCA and will be reviewed by the depository, Northern Trust.

Midl told shareholders Woodford is working collaboratively with Link and the fund continues to be managed in accordance with its investment objective and strategy.

Like the Woodford Equity Income suspension, unitholders will receive an update about the fund suspension every 28 days.

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