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FCA must ‘sue or exonerate’ to end Neil Woodford fiasco

Lead fund manager Nick Train demands regulators end uncertainty over former star stock picker Neil Woodford

A leading fund manager has called on regulators to end uncertainty over former star stock picker Neil Woodford.

Nick Train, who runs Finsbury Growth & Income investment trust and Lindsell Train UK Equity fund, called for those involved in promoting Woodford’s business to be “sued or exonerated”.

He criticized the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for not drawing any conclusions about the scandal or assigning blame. The investigation into the collapsed Woodford fund is about to enter its fourth year. Thousands of retail investors lost money when their fund crashed in 2019.

Long: The collapsed fund investigation led by Neil Woodford (pictured) is about to enter its fourth year

Long: The collapsed fund investigation led by Neil Woodford (pictured) is about to enter its fourth year

“It’s been three years almost a month since the suspension of the Woodford fund and we have not been offered any report on the circumstances,” said the fund manager. And she added: ‘The people who participated in that, to a greater or lesser extent, should be sued or exonerated.’

Last December, FCA chief Nikhil Rathi told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that he had gathered all the key evidence needed for the Woodford investigation and expected all investigative work to be finished by the end of the year. . However, a report has not yet been published.

Train’s comments, at the Frostrow investment companies conference in London, came as he complained the scandal was a drag on the share price of investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, where he is the second-largest shareholder.

Hargreaves was one of Woodford’s main promoters and invested heavily in his Equity Income fund. The fund once managed around £10bn, by investors who fled after disastrous divestitures and poor performance before collapsing in management and Woodford was sacked.

Since the fund was suspended, Hargreaves shares have lost about 55 percent of their value. It’s been a rough 18 months for Train, whose performance has fallen below the benchmark FTSE All-Share index after previously outperforming it for 18 years.

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