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VCT Showcase


Review a representative sample of smaller company investment solutions in one half-day event, without having to undertake your own expensive and time consuming research.

tick-44HEAR  leading fund managers talk about their investment solutions

tick-44NETWORK with their investment specialists without having to commit to any further meetings

tick-44COMPARE key investment information, including charges and levels of risk and return

tick-44LEAVE confident that you have reviewed a representative sample of the solutions in the market





What will the event cover

The content is based upon our findings from surveying advisers for the annual Alternative Investment Market Industry Report. Each presenter is asked to cover the same five issues that we know are key concerns for advisers:

THE FUND MANAGER: ownership, length of time in the market, relevant AUM, performance track record and financial strength

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE: growth, capital preservation, income, or a combination of the three, and the targeted level of annual returns

UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS: What are they, how will they generate returns and how is liquidity achieved?

CHARGES BORNE: charges both the investor and the investees face during the product’s lifetime, incl. performance, admin, and deal fees

DIFFERENTIATION: what differentiates the product from others in the market


Meet our VCT Showcase Presenters

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Dominique Butters


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Dominique joined Blackfinch in October 2016, bringing over 27 years’ experience. Dominique’s career began at Lloyds Bank in 1989, working as an adviser for ten years before moving to Towry Law as an Adviser. She then spent five years at Clerical Medical specialising in Inheritance Tax planning and eight years at Octopus Investments. Dominique is well known and highly respected for her technical knowledge and openness in helping advisers work effectively with professional connections.

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Gordon Pugh


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Gordon joined Blackfinch in 2015. He started his career in 2001 as an analyst on the EIS team at Close Brothers. He moved to Octopus in 2005, distributing tax-efficient products. In 2008 he helped launch Stellar AM, involved with forestry, hotels, farming, and EIS funds and trading companies for IHT. He has also been involved with media sector investments since 1998, including films for UK television. Gordon holds the IMC, completed the first stage of the CFA and is a serial EIS investor.

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Robert Jones


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Robert focuses on managing relationships with intermediaries and professional advisers in northern areas of the UK. Robert has worked in financial services for 34 years, including for Investec, Barclays Wealth and most recently Triple Point. He brings an extensive network of contacts, having developed strong relationships with advisers in the north of England and Scotland.

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Francesca Rayneau

Calculus Capital

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Francesca joined Calculus in 2015 and works in Investor Relations. Prior to joining she has worked for independent financial advisory firms in Switzerland and Dubai.

Francesca has a degree in International Management from the University of Manchester. She is an associate member of Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, having passed the Certificate in Wealth Management and the Client Assets and Money qualification.

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John Davies


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John heads up the growth capital investment team at Seneca. Since joining Seneca in 2015, John has acted on over 35 growth capital transactions totalling more than £40 million and sits on a number of investee company Boards, across a broad spectrum of sectors. John is a chartered accountant and has previously worked in audit, business restructuring, transaction services and M&A for the likes of PwC, RSM Robson Rhodes, Clearwater Corporate Finance and BDO. John leverages the knowledge and experience he has accumulated across his varied roles to add value in all aspects of his role at Seneca, from sourcing and executing deals to strategically advising and ultimately exiting investee companies.

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Dr Reuben Wilcock


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Reuben is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur with 15 years’ experience founding and growing technology start-ups. His smart home energy spinout, Joulo, won a British Gas Connected Homes award and was acquired by Quby. He also co-founded the startup Bar Analytics. Reuben was a leading figure in entrepreneurship at the University of Southampton, founding the accelerator Future Worlds, and mentoring over 200 entrepreneurs and 50 companies. Reuben has a first-class honours degree in Electronics, a PhD in integrated circuit design and is an inventor on five patents.

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Charlie Stoop


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Charlie joined Puma Investments from Octopus Investments and has spent the last four years working in the tax efficient market space as a relationship manager. In this time he has helped advisers and their clients to understand Venture Capital Trusts, Enterprise Investment Schemes and Business Relief qualifying investments. He holds his Investment Management Certificate 1 & 2 as well as CFA Level 1.

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Matt Honour


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Matt is the Business Development Manager for the South West and brings with him over 20 years industry experience.

Matt joined Puma Investments from Charles Stanley, where he was an Asset Management Specialist covering the South of the country. Prior to that he spent nearly four years at Morningstar Investment Management, promoting their Managed Portfolio Services to advisers across the South West and Wales.

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Rob Bickerstaff


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Rob joined Puma Investments in 2016 as Senior Business Development Manager for the North of England and is based in Manchester.

Most recently, Rob was an Investment Manager in the Client Relationship Team at Ingenious Investments with responsibility for all EIS and BPR Sales & Marketing activity across the North West.

Rob has over 20 years’ financial services experience, having worked at Coutts & Co and Barclays Wealth as a Private Banker and Wealth Manager. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and holds a variety of Investment & Financial Planning qualifications from both the CISI & CII.

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Tim Levett

Northern VCTs

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Having been involved in starting NVM up back in the 1980s, along with Alastair Conn and Michael Denny, I have played a key role as the firm has grown to become one of the UK’s leading venture capital companies and am now responsible for building the VCT portfolio and raising VCT funds. I am also non-executive director of Northern Venture Trust PLC and Northern 3 VCT PLC.

I represent NVM on the board of Clarilis, Newcells Biotech, Channel Mum, and Intuitive and I’ve also worked with Alaric Systems, Control Risks Group, Liquidlogic, TFB, Keith Prowse and DxS – to name but a few.

I am also currently the Chairman of the recently formed Venture Capital Trust Association (VCTA) which represents nine of the largest venture capital trust managers in the UK.

Prior to founding NVM, in my very early career, I was an officer in the Royal Navy. When not at NVM I can be found on the Isle of Wight sailing with friends and racing competitively.

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Jason Warren

Northern VCTs

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I’m part of the VCT team at NVM where I spend most of my time doing one of three things: searching for exciting early-stage companies to back; working with companies to complete an investment round; and supporting the portfolio with growth and development post-investment.

I’m a technologist at heart, having spent 4 years at Oxford studying Maths & Computer Science, followed by a spell in the financial services industry as a software engineer building out risk and trading systems. I took the opportunity to move into early-stage investing at the beginning of 2017 and joined the growing VCT team at NVM.

My tech background is perhaps not the most conventional for an early-stage investor, but it has proven really useful in understanding and supporting the many technology companies we invest in. When we’re looking at one of these businesses, I always like to sit with the architect of the system to understand how it has been built and how the technology works under the covers, given it’s at the centre of their business (and I’m genuinely interested!).

Whilst I’m passionate about technology, one of my favourite things about the investor role is the variety – being a generalist investor we get to see such a wide spectrum of companies and I find it really interesting getting into the problem they are solving and the innovative approach they have taken. It’s great to be able to work alongside smart and driven people on a daily basis too, whether that’s the entrepreneurs we back, the industry experts and Chairs who support their growth, or the other investment professionals within NVM.

Outside of work, I’ve always been quite sporty and used to enjoy playing 5-a-side football and tennis on a regular basis, but unfortunately I’ve had to switch my focus to more sofa-based activities in the short term after tearing my cruciate ligament!

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Aaron Lawson-Clark

Northern VCTs

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I joined NVM in 2017 based out of the Newcastle office and look after NVM’s investment activity in the North East and Yorkshire. Prior to NVM I spent nine years in Corporate Banking with Barclays and NatWest. The majority of my time there was spent supporting the needs of Corporate Banking customers across the North of England where I built a specialty Technology, Media & Telecoms portfolio.

During my time in Corporate banking I won the award for Corporate Banker of the Year three times and prior to banking I had a successful career with HM Foreign Office and HM Revenue & Customs.

I have a degree in Business Finance from Northumbria University.

Most recently I involved in NVM’s investment in Quotevine, Pure Pet Food, Newcells Biotech, Administrate, and Ridge Pharma Limited.

Outside of work I am a keen sportsman, playing football, kayaking and going to the gym.

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Nick Bird


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Nick is the Executive Business Development Manager for Octopus where he has worked for the last 7 years as part of a 22 year career in financial services. He works closely with firms and helps identify areas where he can help grow their business and meet client needs. During his time at Octopus he has helped fundraise over £500m of investment into smaller companies, making Octopus one of the biggest Venture Capital Trusts in the UK. Outside of work he is a committed Liverpool fan and has his fingers crossed for this year after 30 years of hurt!

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Matt Johnson


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Matt is the Strategic Partnerships Manager at Octopus and is responsible for delivery of distribution across the UK advisory space. He works closely with a range of advisory firms across the UK to help support them in meeting client needs for today, and developing new solutions for tomorrow. He has a wealth of experience having joined the industry in 1990, working in in various technical and sales management roles at Legal & General and Fidelity Investments

Matt has two children and runs Banstead Cricket Club and a junior cricket team in his spare time.

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Jessica Fox


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Jessica joined Calculus Capital in 2017 and works in Investor Relations and Marketing. Prior to Calculus, she worked at Seven Investment Management as an Assistant Relationship Manager and Close Brothers Asset Management in Business Development and Marketing.

Jessica graduated from Newcastle University with a BSc in Psychology. She has completed Unit 1 of the Investment Management Certificate, and is studying towards Unit 2.

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Charlie Winward

Northern VCTs

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Charlie joined NVM in 2016, with over 12 years’ experience in venture investing having previously been a director of IP Group. He has a track record of nurturing companies from an early stage to flotation and further growth, most notably Tracsis PLC.

What advisers have said about our previous Showcase events

How is it different from

…reading the VCT Report?

While our industry reports give a comprehensive overview of the market, this event will focus in on specific Fund Managers and their offers. We won’t spend long discussing generalities and basic information or the history and development of the market. The intention is to hear about some of the leading investment solutions without repetition or deviations into irrelevant side issues.

Our VCT Showcases are supported by investment experts from



Tax Efficient

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Blackfinch Investments is an established and experienced manager in the UK market for tax efficient and capital protected investments. Blackfinch specialise in Inheritance Tax mitigation through Business Property Relief (BPR) for both individuals and corporate entities, Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Portfolios and also Seed EIS (SEIS) Portfolios. With a focus on capital preservation, Blackfinch look to protect investor capital through asset backed investment strategies in sectors such as property, lending, renewable energy and media. Underpinning this investment strategy is a first class client services and intermediary support team based in both London and Malvern, Worcestershire. Their approach embodies the Blackfinch philosophy: efficient client-focused solutions delivered in a simple and transparent way.


Calculus Capital

Tax Efficient

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Our diligent process, record of profitable exits and focus on capital appreciation distinguishes us from other managers. The Calculus investment strategy has remained consistent for the past 8 years, together with our structured investment process, strong risk management and very close monitoring of portfolio companies, we have been able to produce significant results for our clients.


Octopus Investments

Tax Efficient

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Octopus is a very different type of investment company. Whether you’re a financial adviser, an investor looking for tax-efficient ways of investing in the UK’s smallest and most dynamic businesses, or a company seeking finance for growth, we’re here to help. By putting your needs first, by listening and really understanding what you want, we can help you do smarter things with your money.

We manage nearly £5billion for over 50,000 customers. We offer straightforward products which solve problems faced by real people. We don’t believe in unnecessary complexity and only launch products when we’re confident they’ll do what we say they will. We’re working hand-in-hand with some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and management teams, financing companies capable of creating, transforming or dominating markets. Exceptional customer service and clear communication are integral to everything we do.

At Octopus, we’re building the best team possible. We hire the most talented people we can find, from both inside and outside our industry.


PUMA Investments

Tax Efficient

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Puma Investments has a strong track record in providing asset-backed funding to established businesses across the UK. Our multi-disciplinary team is able to draw upon a nationwide network of offices to source, evaluate and execute transactions.

Our principal focus is on capital preservation and generating stable returns for our investors whilst seeking to offer robust downside protection. The business was founded on and continues to follow two guiding principles: protecting capital and minimising risk. This has always been and will continue to be our promise to our investors and business partners.


Seneca Partners

Tax Efficient

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Seneca is an independent investment management and corporate advisory business for High Net Worth individuals and SMEs. We have truly achieved our aim of becoming a home for SMEs where companies and entrepreneurs can access invaluable support and opportunities.

Our team brings together decades of success in providing bespoke investment and advisory solutions for our clients across a multitude of financial areas.


Northern VCT's

Tax Efficient

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