The Venture Capital Trust Association (VCTA), which campaigns for the vital role played by Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) in supporting the UK’s entrepreneurial economy, has appointed Chris Lewis as Chair.
Chris brings over 25 years of wider industry experience to the Chair. He is currently Chief Financial and Operating Officer at Pembroke VCT, which manages more than £200m in VCT assets, spanning a diverse portfolio of over 40 growth-stage companies. Prior to joining Pembroke in 2019, Chris was the Chief Financial Officer at Downing LLP, which was an active investor in growing businesses through its VCT and EIS products. He has also worked in professional services, with KPMG & EY, and with a Family Office.
“It is a privilege to be representing the VCT industry as Chair of the Association, taking over from Will Fraser-Allen of Albion Capital. He has done a brilliant job representing our members’ interests culminating in the recent extension of the Sunset clause which is key to continued success of VCTs.”, said Chris. “The VCT scheme is a vital part of the UK’s funding ecosystem. The government’s recent extension of the VCT scheme until at least 2035 will come as a relief to thousands of ambitious entrepreneurs across the UK who could benefit from investment and support from VCTs as they scale up.”
Chris added, “Our members currently support over 1,100 highly innovative, rapidly growing start-ups and scale-ups. These businesses create economic impact and employment opportunities throughout the UK. It is crucial that these companies are able to access the equity finance that they need to continue growing and innovating. I am delighted to be able to promote the great work across the VCT industry and the interests of the entrepreneurs that they support.”
Will Fraser-Allen, outgoing Chair of the VCTA and Managing Partner of Albion Capital, commented: “I am pleased to welcome Chris as Chair. He has a wealth of experience in supporting growing companies through venture capital investment, as well as advocating for the growth and impact of the wider industry. I am confident that the VCTA will continue to grow and go from strength to strength under his leadership.”
The VCTA is the industry body representing twelve of the largest VCT managers in the UK. Together, these managers constitute over 90% of the VCT industry, with over £5.5 billion of collective funds under management.