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On their 20th anniversary VCTs remain a vibrant asset class (Every Investor)

by Annabel Brodie-Smith

It’s twenty years this April since VCTs were first launched. It now feels like a mature, yet vibrant asset class.

This was brought home in a very entertaining way at our recent joint AIC/Raymond James VCT adviser seminar. Enter Alan Wallace, Octopus Investments’ energetic Senior Investment Director, who described their investor meetings with potential investee companies as “Dragons’ Den on speed!”  It’s not difficult to see why, with a portfolio that includes Secret Escapes (no longer such a secret), Zoopla, and snack-box producer Graze, whose products regularly keep the healthy eaters amongst our office ticking over.

And it’s not just the speakers who impressed us: speaking of speed, one adviser flew in all the way from Hanover to London to see Alan Wallace and Unicorn AIM VCT’s Chris Hutchinson in action, and even managed to send us a thank you email the next morning.  We very much like his style.

It’s been busy on the VCT front, as we have just finished filming a video that aims to bring VCT investment to life. The video features three VCT managers and three very different investee companies, which brings home the very tangible impact VCTs can have on the businesses they invest in. The now very well-known and successful Secret Escapes, backed by Titan VCT from Octopus, features alongside the fertility clinic CREATE Fertility, where a £5m investment from Livingbridge has facilitated the opening of a flagship clinic in central London. Plus, the good old fashioned British pub doesn’t get forgotten, with an investment by Puma VCT allowing Brewhouse & Kitchen to increase the number of pubs. Watch this space for the video, as well as our soon-to-be published VCT guide, ‘Going for Growth’.

Our just-published VCT manager survey has also hammered home the dynamism of the VCT sector – if you think VCT managers are resting on their laurels, think again.  Managers are overwhelmingly finding a good flow of investment opportunities, and some are expanding their teams further. Speaking like a true ‘dragon’ on the sector, David Hughes, Chief Investment Officer at Foresight Group, commented that: “we’re pleased to see animal spirits seem to have returned and we are seeing a 20% uplift in the number of potential deals.”

 

See the full article here on the Every Investor wesbite.