Link Asset Solutions have today confirmed that the LF ASI Income Focus Fund (the Fund), formerly the Woodford Income Focus Fund, will be re-opened on 13 February 2020.
Link, the fund’s Authorised Corporate Director, stated:
“We and ASI have been monitoring progress and we are now of the opinion that the Fund’s portfolio is in a position to enable the fund to re-open on 13 February 2020. With effect from that date the suspension of dealings in the shares of the Fund will be lifted and it will again be possible for you to buy and sell shares in the Fund.
“You will be able to buy and sell shares from midday on 12 February 2020 in the same ways as was the case prior to the Fund’s suspension. If you invested through a platform or wealth manager/IFA, the most straightforward way to buy or sell might be to use that platform or wealth manager/IFA.”
Link confirmed that the first valuation of the Fund following its re-opening will be at midday on 13 February 2020.
Link added: “All applications to buy or sell shares received from midday on 12 February 2020 will be processed at the share price calculated, based on the net asset value per share, at the valuation point at midday on 13 February 2020. After that first valuation point you will continue to be able to buy and sell shares on a daily basis through your platform or wealth manager / IFA or as set out in the Fund’s prospectus.”
Aberdeen Standard Investments, Link and Northern Trust (the fund administrator) continue to waive their fees until 31 May 2020. The fund’s standard annual charge is 0.75%, with a reduction to 0.50% for a unit class available through HL.
We’re currently waiving our platform charge to hold the fund while it’s suspended, and will start charging this again from 1 March.
Fund to focus on seeking sustainable income
The £258m fund is being managed by experienced UK equity income investors Thomas Moore and Charles Luke, who are re-positioning the portfolio to reflect their best ideas, where they see the greatest income opportunities in the market. There will not be much overlap between the ASI Income Focus Fund, and the managers’ other funds, which have a stronger style bias towards either value or growth investing. The managers will also draw on ideas from ASI’s 16 person UK equity team.
We spoke with the managers earlier this month, who shared that the Fund will be managed with the intention to remain in the IA UK Equity Income sector. Funds in the IA UK Equity Income sector aim to achieve a yield of 100% of the FTSE All Share yield on a three-year rolling basis and 90% on an annual basis. Remember yields vary and are not guaranteed.
The Fund will be run with total returns in mind, meaning they will look for stocks which offer opportunities for growth as well as income. The managers believe this approach should mean the stocks they invest in pay out sustainable income, because the types of company they’ll target will be less likely to cut dividends. The Fund was previously run with a higher income target.
They’ll only invest in listed stocks, expected to be a mix of large cap FTSE 100 stocks and mid-sized FTSE 250 companies. The Fund will typically hold between 20 and 40 stocks, with the managers looking for quality stocks, with growth potential. The concentrated nature of the portfolio means it’s higher risk, as the performance of each holding will have a bigger impact on returns.