P2P trust held by Woodford places manager under review

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The board of a peer-to-peer lending investment trust held by star fund manager Neil Woodford is reviewing its investment management arrangements following disappointing performance in 2016.

P2P Global is managed by MW Eaglewood Europe, a specialist in the alternative credit space and part of the Marshall Wace Group.

The board says it has liaised with “significant shareholders” on the review and that an update will be released once an outcome is known.

An analyst note released by Killik & Co says the intervention follows disappointing performance from the company, below the target set out at launch.

The share price plunged 20.7 per cent in 2016, the investment trust’s latest factsheet shows.

In January, the manager announced that it was reviewing potential steps to improve results and removed the fees charged on leverage within the portfolio.

MW Eaglewood said in a statement that it has recently submitted to the board for consideration a “substantial performance enhancement and discount reduction plan” as a potential approach. 

The investment manager is committed to working constructively with the Board and shareholders to achieve the best possible result for the Company,” the statement said.

The £648.84m investment company, which became the first peer-to-peer investment company when it launched in 2014, focuses on consumer and SME loans originated via online peer-to-peer lending platforms.

The investment trust is a 0.82 per cent holding in the £10bn Woodford Equity Income fund.

An article published on the Woodford website last year said the investment trust was well placed to deliver a stable and attractive income stream to its shareholders, adding that another of its portfolio companies, VPC Speciality Lending, took a similar approach.

According to FE, the £105m Aberdeen Diversified Income fund is the only fund to hold the investment trust in its top 10 with a 1.3 per cent holding.