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Dover Street changes focus

Dover Street Capital, a specialist venture capital and investment advisory firm based in London, has raised over £60m in the past three years, mainly through film financing. It has now brought out a venture capital trust, which will have a fixed life of six years.

The directors are aiming this VCT at the lower-risk end of the spectrum and have taken steps to minimise the risk to capital associated with unquoted companies.

Companies selected for the VCT will need to be established, profitable companies with strong customer bases, reliable cashflows and strong asset backing.

They will be selected on their ability to provide an income and will also need to convince the VCT managers that their investments are likely to be realised within six years. This is because it is intended to liquidate the portfolio in six years, allowing investors to realise their investments without having to sell their shares on the open market.

Dover Street Capital’s directors point out that VCTs usually trade at a discount to their net asset value and they believe an orderly liquidation of the portfolio will provide higher returns than the sale of shares on the open market.

Another way that the VCT will minimise risk to capital is to fund investments in unquoted companies using a combination of loans and equity investment.

This VCT’s fixed life and the thought it has given to providing an exit for investors make it stand out from the crowd of VCTs which have been launched as a result of enhanced income tax relief. However, with so many established VCTs allowing top-ups, it may be difficult for a newcomer to raise money.


Offshore sales rise by 23 per cent

The Association of International Life Offices has seen buoyant offshore figures in single and regular-premium new business for 2004, with total offshore life sales up by 23 per cent last year compared with 2003. Total worldwide life business was 8.3bn compared with 6.8bn in 2003. Worldwide single-premium sales rose by 19 per cent while regular-premium […]

What's going on in the 'offshore' world?

Graeme Robb, Senior Technical Manager at Prudential, explores the current state of the nation for offshore issues and highlights areas which may be particularly relevant to advisers. In the context of insurance companies, ‘offshore’ can be a relatively straightforward matter. Like their onshore equivalent, offshore bonds are ‘non-qualifying’ for tax purposes, meaning that all gains […]


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