Neil Woodford

Written by Citywire

February, 2020

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Hargreaves overlooks Woodford as it rules own funds offer value

Hargreaves Lansdown said its multi-manager fund range has delivered value to investors, despite large positions in Neil Woodford’s failed Equity Income fund hit hampering

In a 78-page disclosure  issued under newfund value assessment rules, the broker gave its funds a clean bill of health, without making reference to the Woodford failure.

Hargreaves’ fund-of-funds have performed poorly compared with industry peers, partiallly due to Woodford exposure of around £600m across several strategies. 

One of the worst performers was the firm’s Multi-Manager Income & Growth trust, which according to a November factsheet still had a 11.2% allocation to Woodford’s failed Equity Income fund.

It returned 6.9% over three years compared against a sector average of 14.1%, losing 5.4% over the past year. 

Earlier this month, our sister publication Citywire Funds Insider revealed that Lee Gardhouse and David Smith, managers of the £294m HL Multi-Manager Equity & Bond fund, sold a £4.9m stake in the Woodford fund in May last year, a month before withdrawals from the fund were suspended. 

The sale reduced the managers’ stake in the fund, which had been the top holding at 9.6% of their portfolio’s assets, by around a fifth.

Hargreaves has been widely criticised for Woodford’s inclusion on its Wealth 50 best buy list. Approximately 3,700 disgruntled Hargreaves clients have contacted law firms over the Woodford collapse. 

Woodford investors will be able to gain access to their funds from tomorrow, four months after the fund was suspended.

The new ASI Income Focus fund (previously Woodford Income Focus) reopens tomorrow with investors able to place trades from mid-day today.

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