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Woodford's Income Focus Fund slumps by a third in June



Neil Woodford's only open-ended fund has shrunk by a third this month as loyal investors once flee his rapidly-collapsing deal.

The Income Focus fund follows a similar strategy to Mr. Woodford Equity Income Fund's flagship, but without allocation to unlisted securities, which declined 32% to £ 333m in June due to redemptions and market movements Financial Times analysis of Morningstar data.

The Fund performs worst in its Investment Association category over three months, six months and one year. According to FE Trustnet, the fund data provider, it has dropped 23 percent in the last 1

2 months, compared to a 2.2 percent loss for its peer group.

Woodford's investment empire had a fortune of £ 15bn two years ago, but has dropped to less than £ 5bn as major customers have abandoned the best-known UK stock picker. Most of his remaining assets are tied to his flagship equity income fund, which has fallen from £ 3.7bn to £ 3.5bn since being closed to redemptions this month.

The decline in Income Focus is another wound for Mr. Woodford There is also the prospect of being dismissed as the manager of the listed mutual fund bearing his name.

"Income Focus will continue to shrink very rapidly," said Adrian Lowcock, head of Personal Investing at Willis Owen, Fund Distribution. "It was never as big as equity income or had the same illiquid asset problems, but the outflows show investors' concern over Woodford.

" It's about selling first, asking questions later. "

Hargreaves Lansdown, the FTSE 100 fund distributor, who was one of Mr. Woodford's biggest cheerleaders, said this week he had made an investment of £ 45m in Income Focus through his Multi Manager Fund of Funds was Hargreaves' direct investment clients, which accounted for 62% of fund assets by the end of last year.

Last week, Hargreaves removed Mr. Woodford's two principal funds from his influential best buy list, according to the manager Since then, an average of GBP 15 million has been withdrawn from Income Focus on a business day, Mr Lowcock said the exodus poses a threat to the fund's profitability.

"When If it falls below £ 100m, it will be more expensive there and it will create a big problem. "

He suggested Woodford Investment Management might consider using the fund Equity Income will merge as soon as its illiquid assets are sold and it can be reopened on the news of the suspension of the Equity Income Fund, which has fallen sharply and steadily since the announcement.

"Income Focus is a fundamentally different fund that does not have the same characteristics. It was founded with the aim of generating an annual income of 5 pence per share, which it has achieved and invested in a concentrated portfolio of liquid listed shares. "

Income Focus, which Woodford launched with great success, with capital of £ 500m two years ago, reached a peak of £ 742m in October 2017.


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