Chris Hill said he shared clients’ “disappointment and frustration” in a statement released yesterday.
The Woodford Equity Income Fund, managed by Neil Woodford, was suspended last week.
Despite the freezing of the fund, HL promoted it to clients through its ‘Wealth 50’ list, a decision the firm stood by.
Mr Hill wrote: “I would like to apologise personally to all clients who have been impacted by the recent problems with the Woodford Equity Income Fund.
“We all share their disappointment and frustration.
“Our priority right now is to support our clients and keep them informed.
“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.
“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 are reviewing this specific situation to ensure we learn from it and address it for the benefit of our clients going forward.”
Hargreaves Lansdown did reveal it had concerns in a previous statement from Mr Hill.
In that statement, Mr Hill revealed the company had “been speaking to Woodford for some time about the number of unquoted and hard-to-trade companies in his portfolio”.
It added: “We have encouraged him to address these issues, and he made a commitment to reduce this part of the portfolio in March.
“Now, he has the time to do this without also having to manage fund flows.”
Mr Hill insisted that despite the “unsettling” developments “Woodford Investment Management has not gone under”.
Addressing clients directly, he added: “This suspension of trading gives Woodford some breathing room to get his fund into the shape he wants.
“And furthermore your assets are held safely by an independent company called Northern Trust, a financial services firm with one of the highest credit ratings.
“This is standard practice for fund management to reduce risk to investors.”