Funds that distribute income do so regularly – sometimes yearly, sometimes half-yearly, quarterly or monthly. In the case of the LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, income is distributed quarterly.
Income that is received by the fund from its underlying portfolio holdings is reflected in the fund’s net asset value until it becomes due to be paid out. That date is known as the ex-dividend (XD) date. When a fund goes ex-dividend, all of the income that has been received by the fund since its last XD date that is due to be paid out to holders of the income share class, is removed from the fund’s net asset value and paid to those shareholders on the pay date, which is typically several weeks after the ex-dividend date.
Individual company shares also have ex-dividend dates – this is the date at which a pre-announced dividend becomes due to shareholders, with payment typically following several weeks later.