When will Woodford investors get their money back?


Investors in the troubled Woodford Equity Income fund can breathe a partial sigh of relief after a date was revealed for a first payment.


An initial payout is due on 20th January 2020, as the fund is wound up by administrators.


But investors in the fund will need to wait until 13th January 2020 to learn the size of this initial payment.


And investors could have to wait much longer to receive final payments, as these will require the sale of harder-to-sell illiquid assets in the portfolio.


Trading in the Woodford Equity Income fund was suspended in June, due to a lack of liquidity in the portfolio and a spike in redemption requests.


Subsequently, fund manager Neil Woodford was removed as the portfolio manager, and the fund renamed to LF Equity Income.


The price of units in the fund has fallen by 18.6% since the fund was suspended in the summer.


In a letter to investors, authorised fund manager Link Fund Solutions has reported that BlackRock, appointed to sell off some of the assets in the fund, has raised £1.65bn by selling 56% of the total fund value since it was appointed in November.


The £1.65bn sale represents 79% of the listed assets in the fund. When listed assets were sold, they were reinvested in FTSE 100 index instruments, money market funds, government securities, and commercial paper with a short maturity date.


Link also said they are “unable to confirm” when the illiquid assets can be sold.


Investment advisers Park Hill were appointed to sell the unlisted assets in the fund, saying it “continues to explore opportunities for selling the assets while maximising the return for investors.”


Link warned that the remaining assets in the fund consist of “generally less liquid stocks than the assets sold so far.”

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