The Woodford Equity Income fund (WEIF) could remain shuttered for a further six months, according to head of personal investing at Willis Owen Adrian Lowcock.
Manager Neil Woodford is battling to offload assets to meet redemptions once the fund reopens, currently slated for December, with the fire sale of more liquid assets reaching £1bn so far.
Lowcock told The Telegraph Woodford "still had a way to go" to meet the anticipated high level of redemption requests the fund is likely to see when trading resumes.
"The last thing you want is for the fund to open and then be forced to close again," Lowcock said, adding that a suspension beyond December was "entirely possible.
"Link has to do certain things and follow regulations. Setting the December deadline allowed it time to go away and fix the problem. If that is looking unlikely, it could be put back further, maybe even to June next year," he said.
WEIF has plummeted 20% in the four months since May 31, the last working day before it was suspended, as a number of its holdings tumbled in value, with the fund dropping to £2.93bn last week, the FT reports, meaning Woodford has lost three-quarters of the assets he managed two years ago.
Meanwhile doubts about the future of the business continued. "There may be some investors that decide to ride out any volatility but whether there will be enough assets left after the reopening for the company to continue as a going concern remains to be seen," said Peter Brunt, associate director for equity strategies at Morningstar.
The fees accrued from investors in WEIF since the fund was suspended amount to almost £8.2m, according to This is Money.