Looking at the disadvantages of the trust Keen says: “Investment is
restricted to Aberdeen fund range and are reliant on selling holdings
at potentially the wrong time to fund purchase of unquoted portfolio.
High-risk investment, heavily focussed on management skill of Bill
Nixon – good record but question mark if he leaves.” He also feels
that the three year minimum term that is necessary to take advantage
of tax relief is a disadvantage, as it locks the investor in to the
Wilson says it may be some time before any gains are realised and
that the trust is not suitable for clients looking for income.
Mycroft adds: "It is risky in modern conditions, shares may be
difficult to sell and there could be changes in legislation in the future,
the status of trusts might not be maintained and there are no
guarantees of companies ability."
Considering Aberdeen Asset Manager's reputation Wilson says:
"Excellent reputation, severley dented because of its high profile
in technology stocks."
Mycroft feels that the general track record is as good as any other
leading investment house. Keen says: "Good reputation in IFA
market with a good range of funds and expanding funds under
Turning to the investment past performance record of the company
Mycroft says: "The past performance of the fund managers as a
general rule has been quite satisfactory but it must be borne in mind
that past performance is no guarantee for the future."
Keen feels that, historically, it has a good reputation in technology
and small cap funds, but this has been tainted by the poor
performance of funds such as technology and income and the global
tech fund. He also says it is difficult to quantify the performance given
the vast range of products, some of which have performed well and
Wilson calls the past performance: "Acceptable in all but its
technology markets. Overall the performance record has been
When asked which trust will provide the main competition Keen
mentions: "Northern 3 VCT and I also think there may be more
secure VCTs launched."
Wilson feels that any other VCT that is well presented will be a
competitor. Mycroft lists: "Electra Kingsway, Unicorn Aim,
Northern VCT 3 and Quester."
On the subject of whether the charges for the trust are fair and
reasonable Wilson says: "Charges are in line with other VCT
offerings. I feel they are higher than necessary for straight forward
investment charges and managers."
Keen feels that they are: "Standard for sector." Mycroft
says the charges do not appear to be unreasonable.
Considering whether the commission is fair and reasonable Mycroft
says that it is: "Reasonable in line with overall market
Keen calls it standard, while Wilson says: "On a par with other
offerings. Not great, but fair and adequate."
Moving on to the product literature the panel has a difference of
opinion. Mycroft calls it excellent, Keen calls it standard and Wilson
says: "Effective but rather subdued. Product is designed for the
more adventurous investor, and perhaps a brighter, more interesting
approach would be more appropriate.
Summing up Mycroft says: "It's the type of investment to meet its
market conditions such as the opportunity for capital growth and, at
the same time, for being an attractive tax shelter."
Wilson says: "Good product, one of several presently on offer. I
expect this to be well subscribed and hopefully do well in the longer