Woodford’s flagship fund plummets to near three-year low

Written by Oliver Wade

Fund manager Neil Woodford has continued to suffer in 2018 as his flagship fund shrunk to a near three-year low. Woodford’s equity income fund assets slumped to £6.6bn as at the end of March.

In February, it was reported that Woodford had shipped £1bn in the first five-and-a-half weeks of 2018, falling to £7.2bn. However, the latest figures indicate that his assets have further fallen by £1.6bn between January and March.

After launching in 2014, Woodford’s flagship fund last registered assets of below £7bn in June 2015, whilst peaking in May 2017 and reaching a colossal £10.2bn.

As of recent months, Woodford has been on the wrong end of a few poor trades with big selloffs from the likes of Provident Financial, Capita and the AA having a negative impact on performance.

In a monthly note released to investors yesterday, Woodford said global firms were being switched on to opportunities presented by British firms.

“We have continued to increase the Woodford funds’ exposure to domestically-exposed stocks, in order to exploit one of very few outstanding valuation opportunities left in these late-stage bull market conditions,” Woodford commented.

Many institutional investors are split on whether Woodford can remain on top, with Jupiter’s Merlin range among a number of those to have withdrawn hundreds of millions of pounds in recent months. However, FTSE 100 wealth management firm St James’s Place has kept their faith in the former Invesco money manager.

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