UK parliament calls on FCA to set deadline for Woodford investigation
Earlier this week, WCM Partners Ltd, a UK-based firm, stated that Woodford would become their chief investment officer. The FCA immediately set out its position on British fund manager Neil Woodford’s future business plans, stating that Woodford Investment Management is no longer authorised to offer investment services to retail clients. “Mr Woodford’s new business, WCM Partners Ltd, would need to apply for appropriate permissions before commencing any regulated activity in the UK,” said Mark Steward, FCA’s Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight.
Steward added that the FCA is still investigating the events that led to the suspension of the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund. “The investigation is being appropriately resourced and is progressing, though there has been some impact on accessing certain documents and witnesses during the pandemic,” he added.
Commenting on this, Mel Stride, Chair of the Treasury Committee, UK parliament said, “As the FCA’s investigation still continues over 18 months after the fund was suspended, the reports of the new fund may understandably be of concern to investors who previously lost out. The FCA should set out when we can expect its investigation to conclude,” he said.
The British stockpicker, who had spent 25 years at Invesco Perpetual, closed the fund in October 2019, following several high-profile investors withdrawing their assets, citing illiquidity risk in the portfolio. Since then, Link Fund Solutions (LFS) has started liquidating the fund’s assets and distributing capital to the affected investors.