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Neil Woodford's fund considering replacing him as manager

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Neil Woodford was considered one of the UK's star investment managers. Photo: Woodford Fund

Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT.L), the investment fund created by Neil Woodford, is considering replacing him as fund manager.

The move comes amid the continued suspension of the trust’s £3.7bn equity income fund.

In a statement on Monday, the board of the trust said that it was assessing “all options available to it” and that it intends to hold discussions with other investment managers.

Through a separate company known as Woodford Investment Management, Neil Woodford currently manages the funds owned by Woodford Patient Capital.

In a highly unusual move, Woodford, once one of the UK’s most admired money managers, suspended trading in the high-profile equity income fund in June.

The fund had been flooded with requests from investors to withdraw their money, even though a significant proportion of its assets could take months to sell.

Woodford Patient Capital Trust said that it remained “confident” in Woodford’s commitment and his “current day-to-day management of the portfolio”.

But it noted, however, that “a full assessment of all potential management option” may lead to a change in the trust’s management arrangements.

Separately, Woodford Patient Capital Trust said that Woodford had sold around 60% of his holding in the trust — netting him about £1m — in order to meet “personal financial obligations”, such as a tax bill.

Woodford had already chosen not to take any income or dividends from his investment firm while the fund was suspended.

In a statement, Woodford Investment Management said that Woodford was “proud of the portfolio created and the considerable potential some of these companies have to achieve commercial success.”

It said that Woodford was committed to Woodford Patient Capital Trust and its “long-term investment potential”.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England said that it was planning to review the way open-ended funds like the one operated by Woodford might be better aligned to minimise risks to financial stability.