Jupiter Merlin sells Woodford

Here’s why 

Long-standing investors Jupiter Merlin sold £300 million of Woodford Equity Income, according to reports out today, though the sale transaction was reportedly concluded in September.

Hargreaves Lansdown continues to invest in Woodford Equity Income through our Multi-Manager funds, and the fund also features on our Wealth 150 Plus list of favourite funds.

Laith Khalaf, Senior Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:

‘There could be any number of reasons Jupiter have made this sale, ranging from asset allocation through to a call on Woodford’s contrarian confidence in the UK economy. The Merlin team are well known for taking big picture macro decisions alongside their fund manager selections, and they also have to consider the balance of their portfolios, which can prompt fund sales and purchases.

While Neil Woodford has definitely had a troubled time of late, in our view his long term track record speaks for itself, and he continues to merit a place on the Wealth 150 Plus and in our Multi-Manager funds.

All managers go through tough spells, and it’s important to acknowledge this when investing in active funds.

It’s also important to keep some perspective. Despite Woodford’s recent poor run the Woodford Equity Income fund is top quartile in the sector since it was launched in 2014. This might come as a surprise given the recent spate of headlines concerning some of Woodford’s holdings, but the manager’s high profile and his decision to be transparent and publish his full portfolio has made him a bit of a lightning rod every time there’s an issue with one of this holdings.

Of course, no manager is totally immune to going off the boil, and very recent performance has been disappointing. However over short periods, luck plays a big part in fund performance, and it’s only over the long term that skill becomes more evident. To that end Neil Woodford has an exceptional 30 year track record, and has made some investors very wealthy indeed, turning £10,000 invested in 1988 into £300,000 today.

While of course there are no guarantees in the investment business, our experience tells us that good things come to those who wait.’

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