U.K. Regulator Pushed to Give Woodford Fund Probe End-Date

The U.K.’s top markets regulator should make clear when it plans to conclude an investigation into the 2019 collapse of Neil Woodford’s investment empire, according to the head of Parliament’s Treasury Committee.

Mel Stride’s call for clarity from the Financial Conduct Authority comes as Woodford mounts a comeback with Acacia Research Corp., managing life-sciences assets that the U.S. firm bought from his former investors at bargain prices. Those investors in his former flagship appear set to lose more than 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) as the fund is liquidated.

U.K. Regulator Pushed to Give Woodford Fund Probe End-Date

“As the FCA’s investigation still continues over 18 months after the fund was suspended, the reports of the new fund may understandably be of concern to investors who previously lost out,” Stride said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

The FCA will update the Treasury Committee on its investigation by the end of May, a spokeswoman for the regulator said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

Woodford froze the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund in mid-2019 because he couldn’t meet clients’ withdrawal requests. He was ousted as manager of the fund in October of that year, and announced he would shutter his investment firm, a stunning fall that counts as one of the most dramatic in London’s financial history.

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