Neil Woodford ups stake in P2P fund to £100m just in time for Christmas

By Daniel Lanyon on Wednesday 3 January 2018

Alternative Lending

Following a tricky period for his suite of portfolios the manager is looking to a turnaround in performance in 2018.

Following a tricky period for his suite of portfolios, the manager is looking to a turnaround in performance in 2018.

Star fund manager Neil Woodford has increased his stake in the £787m P2P Global Investments portfolio.

Woodford, who has been a long term backer of non-bank lending investment trusts as well as broader fintech, increased his stake by £8m to £102m on 21 December. This increases his total holdings in the fund to 13 per cent from 12 per cent of the total share capital.

The manager has been going through a testing period following outflows from his flagship equity income fund and he recently described his current period of underperformance, shown in the graph below, as one of the most challenging of his career. 

Neil Woodford vs Peer Group Composite Returns over 3 years

Source: FE Analytics

While his biggest play is currently UK domestic stocks, Woodford is also bullish on innovation in finance, technology and healthcare and is keen on alternative income plays through investment trusts.

The manager is also a substantial owner of HoneyComb IT, VPC Specialty Lending and Burford Capital as well as several REITs.

P2P GI has had its own period of underperformance compared to expectations but has recently seen some recovery in tis share price as well as an increasing in its dividend outlook from 12p to 15p.

Mark Barnett, who took over from Woodford as head of UK equities at Invesco Perpetual four years ago is the largest shareholder in P2P Global Investments. He owns just under a third of the shares.

Barnett, who is also a large shareholder in a number of other alternative credit focused investment trusts, has recently said he backs P2P Global Investments to turnaround performance and close its discount.

Both Woodford and Barnett are also big backers of the HoneyComb Investment trust. The portfolio’s managers Pollen Street Capital recently merged with the managers of P2P GI.  

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