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Fund suspension and Barnett out: the week in news

Fund suspension and Barnett out: the week in news

There was only one topic that gripped the headlines this week as the country prepared to head to the polls for a momentous vote that would define politics for the coming years.

Closer to home it was just as exciting as SMCR came into force, another property fund was suspended and things turned slightly sour for a big name fund manager.

It's time for the week in news.

1 Prepped advisers

As the Senior Managers and Certification Regime came into force this week, FTAdvisertook a look at what advisers have done to prepare for the legislation.

Most advisers told us they conducted training for all staff about what the new rules mean for them and had compiled certificates and documentation to show all senior staff were "fit and proper".

Networks had asked their appointed representatives to take tests to ensure they knew the ins and outs of the regulation while large firms, such as Tilney, saw a shake up of their boards of directors.

2 Property problems

Almost 20,000 customers are now unable to withdraw their assets from Prudential's UK Property Portfolio after it was suspended this week.

The reason was that the £164m Prudential M&G Property Portfolio is fully invested in M&Gs fund, which gated last week as the fund attempted to deal with an “unusually high and sustained” period of outflows.

The suspensions mirrored what happened three years ago after the EU Referendum, when a number of open-ended property funds suspended dealing and prompted the industry to question the suitability of illiquid assets in open-ended funds.

3 Woodford ripples

The City-watchdog is probing a number of giant funds which are invested in Neil Woodford's suspended flagship portfolio as it tries to curb a potential liquidity crisis, it emerged this week.

The FCA is investigating funds — primarily multi-manager mandates — with more than £15bn assets under management that have holdings in the Woodford Equity Income fund, as it is concerned redemptions will soar due to their connection with the embattled fund manager which could spark liquidity problems.

Funds from both Hargreaves Lansdown and Quilter Investors are on the list of those being watched.

4 Barnett out

Invesco's embattled head of equities Mark Barnett was replaced as manager of the £1.3bn Edinburgh investment trust following three years of underperformance.

He is to be replaced by Majedie Asset Management's James de Uphaugh.

The move came as the trust issued a "disappointing" set of interim results, losing 1.5 per cent over three years compared to a sector average of 19 per cent.

5 Missing fees

The administrators of collapsed self-invested personal pension provider GPC are pursuing investors — who have lost their pensions investing in Harlequin — for unpaid fees.

Companies House filings showed the provider was owned £2.4m in unpaid Sipp fees as at the start of August, owed by clients of the provider who had insufficient funds or had refused to pay it, or could not pay it due to being involved in a regulatory case.