Neil Woodford's new portfolio projects it will more than triple investor capital over three years, according to a sales document that was sent to potential investors on an unsolicited basis.

WCM Partners Healthcare, Woodford's company based in the Cayman Islands, produced the pitch detailing an eight-stock portfolio comprised of six unlisted and two listed companies.

The firm has yet to apply for regulatory approval anywhere in the world, but both the UK and Jersey regulators have issued statements suggesting it might be difficult to gain a green lightl from them, while the Cayman Islands regulator was keen to clarify no submission for approval had been received to date.

When approached for comment on the figures, WCM Partners did not respond and instead removed the projections from its pitch document.

When questioned on the motives behind removing the figures, the firm declined to comment.

The largest holding is Oxford Nanopore Technologies, a company near-synonymous with the disgraced manager, which represents 43% of the total fund. 

The private biotech firm has made more recent headlines, as M&G invested £35m into the company ahead of its initial public offering due later this year, with chief investment officer Jack Daniels describing the firm as "an example of how institutional investors can play an important role in accelerating growth in companies that provide a wider benefit to society".

According to Investment Week calculations based on projected internal rates of return offered by WCM Partners Healthcare in its sales pitch, the firm believes Oxford Nanopore Technologies will return 3.05x over three years with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 45.1%.

This prediction is largely representative of the overall portfolio, which is projected to generate a return of 3.34x over three years. 

Despite its heavy weighting, Oxford Nanopore is far from the biggest returner by WCM Partners estimations, with AMO Pharma, which represents 6% of the portfolio, predicted to grow 11.2x over three years with an IRR of 124%. It is described as a "late-stage biotechnology company focused on clinical-stage assets".

Induction Healthcare, which comprises 1.5% of the fund, is an AIM-listed company described as "building a virtual care platform which can help the digital transformation of healthcare systems across multiple geographies". It is projected to return 4.6x its original investment, an IRR of 66.1%.

The firm Woodford projects will create the largest return for investors is also the one in which the firm would hold the smallest weighting - just 0.2%. 

Novabiotics, a "clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the design and development of first-in-class anti-infectives for difficult-to-treat, medically unmet diseases," is anticipated to grow 15.5x in three years, representing an IRR of 149.1%.

Veronique Morel, senior wealth manager and branch principal at Raymond James, described the disparity of weighting versus IRR as "very strange".

"You have one stock with a 29% IRR and a 12% weighting and you have another with 149% IRR but only 0.2% weighting out of eight stocks. Surely you want to invest more into the stock that is likely to perform better?"

The only firm which is not offered a three-year prediction by the new Woodford venture is Viamet, described as a "late-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of a novel anti-fungal agent for the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis and nail fungus".

Viamet is the second-largest holding in the fund (18%) but is afforded only a one-year prediction, although this is still projected to perform strongly, growing 2.6x over 12 months, an IRR of 158.3%.

Both the concentrated nature of the portfolio and the projected returns have been called into question by industry commentators, with the tripling of returns in three years described as "extremely punchy" by managing director at Chelsea Financial Services Darius McDermott.

"A tripling of returns in three years is not unachievable, but it could be hard to justify," he said. "There is a high level of confidence and it is clearly a very concentrated fund, but I would think that they would have to be very careful on everything they say to potential investors, given the scrutiny they are under."

Morel also pointed to the concentration of the fund, describing it as more akin to a private equity product.

"Under the rules of diversification, you need to have at least 16 stocks," she said. "It is not a fund."

Ben Yearsley, co-founder of Fairview Investing, explained that the nature of the companies WCM Partners hopes to invest in require high returns to offset risk.

"In early-stage biotech and healthcare companies, you would expect high returns as the chance of failure is much higher too."

This return profile was described as "binary" by Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell, who also addressed the nature of the target firms.

"Woodford always had very high hopes for the biotechnology companies he invested in and these expectations seem to have continued with the projected returns from his new portfolio.

"Given the early stage nature of these companies, it is also possible that they may need additional capital in the future to help the realise their products.

"Either way, there can be no doubting that these companies are high risk with uncertain outcomes and therefore it will always be surprising that companies such as these made up such a large part of an open ended, daily traded fund."