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Jupiter Merlin sells £300m Woodford fund stake

Jupiter Merlin sells £300m Woodford fund stake

by Dylan Lobo Oct 10, 2017 at 13:47

Jupiter's Merlin team has sold a £300 million position in Neil Woodford's flagship income fund. 

The fund was able to meet the redemption by selling positions in existing holdings. Following the disposal the Woodford Equity Income fund has £8.9 billion in assets under management. 

In a short statement, a spokesperson for Woodford Investment Management said: 'The transaction was concluded in September and the current assets under management of £8.9 billion reflects this.' 

The news is the latest blow for Woodford, who has suffered a series of high-profile hits to his holdings such as Provident Financial (PFG) and Capita (CPI).

Over one year the fund has delivered flat returns and is the only fund in the Investment Association's UK Equity Income sector to have failed to deliver a positive return over that period.

Over three years the fund has delivered 27.3%, placing it in the bottom half of the sector.


Jupiter Merlin head John Chatfeild-Roberts first backed Woodford around 20 years ago when the fund manager was plying his trade at Invesco Perpetual. 

The Merlin team bought the CF Woodford Equity Income fund shortly after its high profile launch in July 2014 following Woodford's departure from Invesco. The position was held across the Merlin Growth , Balanced and Income funds. 

'We were very happy investors for many years in Neil Woodford's funds while he worked at Invesco Perpetual and have supported him in his new venture,' commented Chatfeild-Roberts at the time of the purchase. 

Jupiter would not comment on the disposal, or what its plans were for the proceeds. 

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Comments  (6)

  • Franco: 

    This is the 2nd year Woodford's income fund is underperforming and so his discrete calendar year score will become 1 win out of 3. Even if he overperforms in the next 3 years he will only make his score 3 out of 5, which is not good enough for a manager of Woodford's standing..

    Of course I shall still hold his fund come what may, because he is a great man and money is not everything in life, but I do hope the goddess of luck will mile to him again.

    19:35 on 10 October 2017

  • Andrew Stevenson: 

    I sometimes feel I owe to other investors to publish a list of the shares I've recently bought as a warning. Having watched BP for years (having holdings in other oil companies) I finally purchased some,.a fortnight later the Macondo well blowout occured. I bought Lloyds bank shares thinking they were a well run (with a reliable dividend stream). I found to my cost that at the top of the company was an idiot called Victor Blank (never more appropriately named !) For two decades I ignored Invesco Perpetual, thinking the snow covered mountain adverts were a bit flakey. But finally gave in and decided to follow the great 'star fund manager'.

    Oh well, I suppose having a bag full of lemons might at least guarantee some vitamin C.

    20:54 on 10 October 2017

  • an elder one: 

    You need some sunlight though Andrew, to convert to vitamin D they say, to enliven the brainbox.

    22:14 on 10 October 2017

  • colin overton: 

    Poor Old Neil! He runs at least one UT and one IT that are doing much worse that this UT!

    11:28 on 11 October 2017

  • what me, worry?: 

    well Ive got the first woodford plc offering and its up 30% (only 10%p/a) since launch even after pfg,card etc...So Im happy enough to wait. Especially since I bought pfg at 2300,bargain I thought, and clln at 220.ditto. Dont ask me what they are down to now I dare not look.

    So Im with Franco, stick with it and him.

    18:56 on 11 October 2017

  • SDRL: 

    Woodford is trading too much which is resulting in poor performance.

    15:12 on 14 October 2017

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