The departure of Waystone Group's chief executive, chief financial officer and chief operating officer has cast doubts over the future of the firm's acquisition of Neil Woodford's former authorised corporate director Link Fund Solutions. 

On 20 February, LFS parent company Link Group confirmed it had begun exclusive talks with Dublin-based fund manager Waystone to sell the business, with the exclusivity period ending on Friday (31 March). 

However, the sudden exit of Waystone's CEO Derek Delaney, COO Paul Cahill and CFO Glen Magee has raised questions about the LFS deal, although the firm said the departures are "in no way linked to anything of a financial or regulatory nature".

In a stock exchange announcement this morning (30 March), Link Group said the deadline to reach an agreement would be extended to April, rather than the end of March as previously announced. 

FCA approaches conclusion on Woodford enforcement

"While diligence and negotiations have taken longer than originally anticipated, substantial progress has been made," the firm wrote. 

"However, until such time as binding agreements are signed there can be no certainty that any agreement will be reached either with Waystone or, in relation to settlement, with the FCA."

Back in February, Link Group said it was in discussions with the FCA to settle all Woodford-related liabilities and potential redress obligations, while the regulator said it was focused on "ensuring that consumers affected by the suspension of the Woodford Equity Income fund obtain redress".

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LFS has also been credited with the collapse of a proposed deal last year for Link to be bought by Canadian group Dye & Durham, which was planning a £2bn takeover of the group until concerns about liabilities arose.

Link Fund Solutions served as an authorised corporate director to the former LF Woodford Equity Income fund, which led to thousands of investors suffering combined billions in losses. It was suspended in June 2019, before being closed in October of the same year.

A Waystone spokesperson said the board had already started the process to appoint Delaney, Cahill and Magee's successors, with current chair Nancy Lewis set to lead the business on a full-time basis in the interim.