On the eve of Octopus Choice’s second birthday, Caroline Flagg talks about where inflows are coming from following the launch of its IFISA. She reports that 750 advisers are now using Octopus Choice for themselves and their clients, the comparatively larger size of advised investments, and investor demographics. She then goes into the specific workings of Octopus Choice, how it builds on Octopus Property, an established business providing bridging loans against UK property since 2009, and Octopus’ first lost position.
Belinda Thomas discusses Triple Point’s Advancr Bonds and how these products evolved. She discusses consumer production in terms of underlying security and Triple Point’s responsibilities as an IFISA manager. As an established manager in the tax-efficient space, she talks about pre-existing relationships with advisers and a growing volume of cash transfers.
Intelligent Partnership’s research manager Lisa Best, Blackfinch Investments’ Jerry Price, Deepbridge Capital’s Louise Farley and SimplyBiz’s Gary Kershaw discuss the current landscape for Enterprise Investment Scheme and Business Relief investments. They examine the key adviser considerations in this market including client suitability, manager due diligence and the importance of education to respond to changing risk profiles, particularly in light of the 2017 Autumn Budget.
Julia Groves, partner & head of crowdfunding at Downing LLP, talks about growing uptake of bonds in its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) and advisers’ changing attitudes to these investments. She covers terms of investment, diversification, risk and the two kinds of products offered on Downing’s platform: fixed-term debt-based securities and a newer regular access bond. On choice in the market, she discusses how many IFISA-authorised platforms are genuinely adviser-ready and reveals something surprising about average investment size.
Jake Wombwell-Povey, CEO and co-founder of Goji, discusses increasing inflows after the Innovative Finance ISA’s slow start and what percentage are transfers from cash ISAs. In the direct lending space, he discusses the end of the ‘early adopter’ phase for retail investors, Goji’s increasing focus on advisers and the demographic of clients they recommend these investments to. The discussion takes in Goji’s history, status as an aggregator and approach to due diligence on the lenders it works with.
Mike Currie begins by saying that “backing British business has never been more important” in the context of discussing Foresight Group’s generalist VCT, which maintains a technology bias. In his opinion, the quality of opportunities and providers in UK venture capital has never been better. On its new Williams Technology EIS he talks about collaborating with a world class operation and major brand like Williams, and leveraging the UK’s strength in mechanical engineering.
Will Fraser-Allen from Albion Capital discusses its Top Up Offers and their dual positioning as a long-term savings product and investment into growth businesses, true to the spirit of venture capital. He talks about the diversity of their broad portfolio and the gradual move towards tech and businesses services, as opposed to any pivot. He argues Albion’s experience is invaluable in backing the right companies, particularly given 2017/18’s forecast record VCT fundraise.
Laurence Callcut from Downing talks about increased choice in the VCT market and expands on its offering from a cutting-edge healthcare VCT to its Downing ONE VCT, still containing investments dating from 1997. He goes on to discuss EIS, and the ‘direction of travel’ towards tech and innovation, as well as the structures he’d like to see to increase follow-on funding.
Kealan Doyle explains Symvan’s California-style approach to venture capital, saying that Europe is behind the curve but things are changing. In a conversation grounded in the venture capital industry’s shift during the last five years from an asset-backed to growth focus, he talks about Symvan Capital’s life-cycle approach from seed to later-stage funding rounds, why it focuses on B2B tech, its progressive fee structure and the “inventive streak” in the UK.
Gordon Pugh discusses Blackfinch Investments’ Asset Focused EIS and Media EIS Portfolios, including how construction still offers a route to asset-backing and the interesting new area of offshore supply vessels. He talks about the diligence of Blackfinch’s approach to receiving Advanced Assurance from HMRC, sometimes receiving this as quickly as a fortnight, and why ‘capital preservation’ is a misnomer: all investments seek to balance a risk return profile.