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Aberdeen sacks Murray Johnstone VCT chiefs

Aberdeen Asset Management has sacked the heads of its subsidiary Murray Johnstone Private Equity and taken management of the four Murray VCTs back in house.

Jonathon Dickinson and John Simpson have left the group after a failed management buyout.

The four portfolios, which have combined assets of £77.4m, according to Trustnet, are now being run by Aberdeen Private Equity fund managers Hugh Little and Bill Nixon.

Performance on the Murray VCTs has languished for several years and a failure of the Murray and Aberdeen private equity teams to integrate has been blamed for their departure.

A decision has yet to be taken on whether the Murray trusts are merged together, but their branding is expected to remain distinct from the Aber-deen VCT stable.

The improved tax breaks for VCT investors, announced by the Chancellor in his last Budget, have raised the profile and reinvigorated the VCT sector.

Estimates on how much will be raised this tax year vary from £400m-£600m typically, up from £50m in each of the last two tax years. Aberdeen declined to comment.


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