Jupiter's multi-manager Merlin team had sold out of its entire holding in the Woodford Equity Income fund by the end of September, having started to gradually reduce its exposure in 2015 from a peak of around £947m, Investment Week understands.
John Chatfeild-Roberts, head of Jupiter Asset Management's Merlin fund range, had already reduced exposure to the Woodford Equity Income fund across three multi-manager portfolios by £382.8m over the period from August 2015 to 31 May 2017.
The biggest change during that period was seen on the Jupiter Merlin Income fund, which had reduced its allocation to the UK equity income product by £360.4m between October 2015 and April 2017.
On 15 April 2017, it held £193.8m in Neil Woodford's fund, which made up 6.2% of the portfolio. However, this reduction happened gradually over two years; on the 15 October 2015 the portfolio held nearly 14% in Woodford's fund, but by 15 October 2016 this holding had already fallen to 7.8%.
Meanwhile, the Merlin Growth and Balanced funds only reduced their holdings by a small amount between August 2015 and February/May 2017 - by £10.7m and £11.7m respectively.
In February 2017, the Growth fund still held 10.6% in the Woodford vehicle, while the Balanced fund still had 5.7% exposure by 31 May 2017.
Overall, the Merlin range had £513.6m invested in Woodford's fund across the three multi-manager portfolios by April 2017, but the team had sold out of this remaining holding by the end of September 2017, Investment Week understands.
Commenting on the most recent sale, a Woodford IM spokesperson said: "The transaction was concluded in September and the current AUM of £8.9bn reflects this."
Jupiter declined to comment on the latest sale.
A tough year
Woodford's Equity Income fund's AUM has dropped from a peak of more than £10bn earlier in the year, as performance has been hit by a number of stock specific issues.
In August, Provident Financial, a 4.1% holding in the fund at the time, saw its shares fall some 70% in a day after issuing a second profit warning in just three months.
Earlier in the summer, Woodford's number one holding AstraZeneca fell by nearly 16% after a failed drug trial, affecting some 8.7% of the Equity Income fund.
A further hit came in September, when shares in AA, a 0.78% holding in the portfolio, fell on disappointing half-year results.
As a result of these issues, the fund has significantly underperformed the IA UK Equity Income sector, returning -0.3% over the year to 9 October versus a sector average of 10.5%, making it the worst performer in the sector, according to FE.
Over three years, the fund is also in the fourth quartile, returning 28% versus the sector's 35%.
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