The listed £3.7bn investment fund run by Neil Woodford will remain suspended at least until December, according to the company managing it.
Link Fund Services wrote to investors in the London Stock Exchange-quoted Woodford Equity Investment Fund on Monday, saying that it remained “the best option in the interests of all investors for the suspension to continue”.
The fund, which was frozen by Mr Woodford in June following a sudden exodus of investors and surge in withdrawals – remains closed while the company continues to shift its portfolio away from private, unquoted holdings towards those consisting of larger, more liquid stocks.
“We anticipate that the suspension of dealing is likely to last until early December while we implement the strategy to re-position the portfolio in order for the fund to be reopened at that time, and which is conditional upon achieving the target fund profile,” the letter said.
Link issued the letter to meet its obligation to inform investors about the state of the fund every 28 days.
In a further statement Mr Woodford said: “I understand the frustration, inconvenience and anxiety the continued suspension of the fund will be causing you and I am extremely sorry for putting you in this situation.
“Since our last update a month ago, we have made progress with our strategy to reduce our exposure to unquoted and less liquid stocks with our primary focus being on delivering the best possible outcomes for investors in the fund.”
He said investors will see “a portfolio with more FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, but still reflecting the same investment strategy” when the fund re-opens.
He added that since suspension, up to 80% of proceeds from share sales have been reinvested in FTSE 100 companies.
Link said the company would continue to charge a management fee as it focuses on repositioning the portfolio, “to cover the infrastructure and resource costs associated with running an actively managed fund”.
It added in the letter to investors: “The decision of whether to remain invested or withdraw will be up to each investor – you may wish to consult with your financial adviser about this.”