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Woodford to shut down investment management firm

British fund manager Neil Woodford said he has decided to close investment management firm Woodford Investment Management Ltd. after he was fired from his flagship LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, the Financial Times reported.

"I personally deeply regret the impact events have had on individuals who placed their faith in Woodford Investment Management and invested in our funds," Woodford said.

Link Fund Solutions, the authorized administrator of the equity income fund, decided not to reopen the fund and to close and liquidate it as soon as possible, noting that it expects to make the first payment to investors by the end of January 2020. Woodford blocked redemptions from the fund in June amid growing client withdrawals.

Investors in the equity income fund will likely recover at least 50% of the value of their investments in the first payment, given that a large part of the fund is currently invested in stocks that could be sold easily, according to The Times of London.

Woodford Investment Management will also resign as investment manager of LF Woodford Income Focus Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust PLC, its two remaining investment vehicles.

Link said it also suspended the income focus fund, effective Oct. 15, citing an expected high level of redemption requests following Woodford's resignation. Link added that it would consider several options during the income focus fund's suspension, including appointing an alternative investment manager, a scheme of arrangement into another fund or winding up the fund.

Meanwhile, Woodford Patient Capital Trust's board said it is in advanced discussions related to the ongoing management of the fund's portfolio and that it expects to announce details of new management arrangements shortly.