If you could influence changes to the schemes, what would you suggest?
“Currently, I think the scheme rules are very generous and fair. However, it’s also up to us, as fund managers, to take responsibility and promote positive change. This involves all of us committing to full transparency and disclosure as a minimum. There’s often a fear around investing and greater openness will significantly help mitigate that.”
How can EIS investments continue to help diversify client portfolios?
“EIS investments are high risk and aren’t appropriate for everyone, but for those suitable it does provide access to a non-correlated asset class, allows for additional diversification within an individual’s portfolio and offers potential for additional returns. This is alongside being a very effective tax planning vehicle.”
What sectors do you specialise in and why are these important?
“We’re agnostic in the sense that we don’t specialise in a specific sector, but there is a pattern in our portfolio in that they’re all tech-enabled businesses. These could be creative digital media firms, advanced manufacturing companies or life science businesses, but they all have a focus on technology in their process and that means they can scale quicker.
“Generally, when we’re building our portfolio, we look to diversify across sector, business growth stage and geography.”
Are advisers more receptive to the schemes?
“We’ve definitely noticed a growing interest and receptiveness to EIS from advisers. There had been a shift towards VCT, but it isn’t one size fits all and EIS fills some gaps that VCT doesn’t. As with all advice, it’s important to match the solution to the needs and objectives of the investor.”
Are clients more savvy about EIS and SEIS nowadays?
“There’s certainly still more education required for both investors and advisers, but we’ve noticed VCT and EIS being used increasingly as a planning solution by advisers. Advisers are now looking at venture capital as an interesting and attractive asset class particularly when combined with the numerous reliefs EIS offers investors.”
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