Jun 4, 2019

Big Woodford investor hits out as contagion spreads

One of Neil Woodford's biggest backers hit out at Britain's best-known investment manager for blocking withdrawals from his flagship fund, as the fall-out spread across the UK's financial community. Kent County Council pension fund said it was continuing negotiations with Mr Woodford to try to extract its £263m investment, a day after the fund was frozen to investor withdrawals. In a separate statement, the council pension fund said: it was "Disappointed that, as a major investor in the fund, we did not receive prior notification". Mr Woodford buckled on Monday under the weight of a stampede out of his £3.7bn fund by blocking capital withdrawals, a damaging move for an open-ended fund that will now struggle to win back investor trust. Hargreaves Lansdown, the fund supermarket which has funnelled close to £1.2bn to Mr Woodford, was the second biggest faller on the FTSE 100, closing 4.6 per cent lower; Woodford Patient Capital Trust, one of the UK's largest investment trusts, tumbled nearly a fifth before closing 8.3 per cent lower; and Burford Capital, a litigation funder and the second-largest investment in the fund's portfolio, fell nearly 3 per cent.

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