Hargreaves Lansdown bosses forego bonuses in wake of Woodford fund fiasco

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The bosses of London-based investment manager Hargreaves Lansdown have said they will not take their bonuses this year after its customers were affected by troubles at fund manager Neil Woodford.

A significant number of Hargreaves Lansdown’s clients were hit when a flagship fund run by Woodford was suspended among concerns about the number of unregulated assets it held.

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Investors, whose savings were ploughed into the fund by their investment manager, Hargreaves Lansdown, are now unable to access their money, and may not be able to do so for the rest of the year.

Hargreaves' chief executive Chris Hill, Chief financial officer Philip Johnson, chief investment officer Lee Gardhouse and research director Mark Dampier, will reportedly take no bonus for 2019. Hill's bonus for last year was £1.7 million.

Apology to customers

“I am determined that we learn from events such as these”, said Hargreaves Lansdown CEO Hill. 

“I have apologised to all clients who have been impacted by the recent problems because we all share their disappointment and frustration. 

“In these difficult times we recognise the financial and personal impact the gating of the fund has had on them. 

“Philip and I, together with the unanimous support of the Board, have therefore decided that we will not take a bonus award for 2019.

“Our aim remains to provide the best possible service and choices to allow people to manage their investments simply and effectively. 

“The shortcomings of one fund should not detract from the benefits of favourite fund lists like the Wealth 50. 

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“We are confident in the robustness of how we analyse, research and compile our favourite fund list with a focus on ensuring best value for clients. 

“Nonetheless, we recognise that there will be learnings and improvements we can make from reviewing this event and we will ensure we apply these to benefit our clients in the future.”

The comments came as Hargreaves, which is a FTSE 100-listed company, reported a 5% rise in full year profits today to £305.8 million, despite the Woodford fiasco.

Hargreaves’ shares were trading 9.5% higher at £20.08 today.