Star fund manager Neil Woodford has been forced to suspend trading in his flagship Woodford Equity Income Fund for the time being. The reasoning they have given is that due to redemptions of £9M per day in the last couple of weeks they are trying to protect existing shareholders from further losses.

This means that no shareholders are allowed to cash in, transfer or sell any holdings in the fund until the suspension is lifted.

It appears that the cause was a request from Kent County Council to withdraw £250M, held within its pension fund, at the start of the week.

Woodford set up the fund when he left Invesco Perpetual in 2015 and it quickly grew to £10bn due to his brilliant track record running Invesco’s High Income Fund. For the first three and a half years performance in his new fund was exceptional but over the last eighteen months he has suffered a catalogue of bad news with various investments turning sour.

The fund has fallen 11% in the last six months and the suspension will hopefully improve matters for shareholders.

They have to report to the FCA within 28 days what their plan is for the re opening of the fund and we will update you in the website.

Phil J McGovern FPFS