Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity has introduced the Aberdeen growth opportunities venture capital trust (VCT).
This VCT aims for long-term capital growth by investing mainly in unquoted smaller companies in the UK. It consists of around 30 holdings that cut across a wide range of sectors.
When deciding which companies to invest in, the fund manager will focus on companies that are already established and are generating revenue, but companies in an earlier stage of development will not be ruled out if it is felt they have good growth prospects and the management team in place is believed to be sound.
The money initially raised by the VCT will be invested in a portfolio of Aberdeen's open-ended investments companies (Oeics). While the stockmarkets are uncertain following recent events in the US, around 85 per cent of the money raised will go into fixed interest and sterling bonds, with the remainder going into cash.
At any other time, it is likely this VCT would be popular with investors who had used up their Isa allowance and were looking for a tax-efficient investment. However, in the current climate with everything up in the air and investors waiting for it to settle down, investing in unquoted companies could be a risk that many investors are unwilling to take. But it could attract some high-net-worth investors who are seeking an alternative to the usual array of unit trusts, Oeics and investments trusts in their portfolios.
According to Standard & Poor's. the Aberdeen development capital VCT is ranked 5 out of 35 trusts based on £1,000 invested on a mid-to-mid basis with net income reinvested over one year to September 24, 2001.