Aberdeen Standard Investments appointed manager of Woodford Income Focus

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Aberdeen Standard Investments appointed manager of Woodford Income Focus

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has been appointed the fund manager of the LF Woodford Income Focus fund, in what is the last fund to be handed over to new managers as Woodford IM prepares to close for business.

The fund will be renamed LF ASI Income Focus and will be managed by Charles Luke and Thomas Moore.

Link Fund Solutions, the administrators, confirmed in a letter to investors that management of the £264 million fund would be handed to Aberdeen Standard. Woodford Income Focus was the last remaining fund under the control of Woodford, who passed on his Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) investment trust to Schroders on Friday. 

The appointment of Aberdeen Standard Investments to manage the fund formerly known as Woodford Income Focus will bring some relief to investors who now have some clarity as to what will happen to their money as we enter 2020."

Commenting on the appointment of Aberdeen Standard Investments to manage the LF Woodford Income Focus fund, Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell, said: "The appointment of Aberdeen Standard Investments to manage the fund formerly known as Woodford Income Focus will bring some relief to investors who now have some clarity as to what will happen to their money as we enter 2020. The question for those investors now is should they stay with the new manager or move onto a different fund.

"Thomas Moore and Charles Luke are both experienced equity income managers but both have underperformed the FTSE All Share Index with their open ended funds over the past five years which may be cause for concern to some investors, despite Moore's longer term track record being impressive.

"One key issue is the type of fund that the duo will now run. The announcement states that the portfolio will be concentrated to around 30 high conviction positions, however, this is significantly more concentrated than the existing funds that they manage which contain around 60 stocks. Investors may be heartened to see that there is minimal crossover between Woodford Income Focus and the portfolios managed by Moore and Luke, however, this does indicate that a significant amount of portfolio adjustment will be needed that will result in costs being incurred by investors.

The Woodford Income Focus was the last remaining fund under the control of Woodford. He passed on his Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) investment trust to Schroders just last week. 

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.