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Schroders to manage Woodford Patient Capital after founder's exit

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Schroders to manage Woodford Patient Capital after founder's exit
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the logo of investment management company Schroders at a branch in Zurich, Swtzerland November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann   -   Copyright  ARND WIEGMANN(Reuters)
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By Clara Denina and Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) – Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) <WPCT.L> said it has appointed asset manager Schroders <SDR.L> to run its portfolio after the abrupt departure last week of founder Neil Woodford.

Woodford, one of Britain’s most high-profile fund managers, resigned as manager of the trust as he shut his asset management business after administrators closed his flagship equity income fund.

That followed months of turmoil as Woodford scrambled to sell the fund’s unlisted and illiquid companies to raise cash to pay back investors who wanted to exit – a restructuring effort that severely hit the listed WPCT, which had continued trading.

WPCT will be renamed Schroder UK Public Private Trust when Schroders takes over the management of the assets, expected by the end of the year, and the new management team will stick to WPCT’s existing strategy of investing largely in unlisted firms.

Shares in WPCT surged 28% to 38.5 pence, putting them on track for their best one-day performance since listing in 2015 and a partial recovery of losses of more than 60% since May.

“I would like to thank our shareholders for their support throughout this process as we have worked to put in place the right portfolio manager against the background of challenging circumstances,” WPCT Chairman Susan Searle said.

(Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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