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Firms bring out new VCTs as more IFAs eye market

Increased IFA interest in venture capital trusts has sparked a series of autumn launches.

Friends Ivory & Sime is planning a November date for its Aim VCT, which will invest principally in Aim-listed companies. FI&S also plans to launch its more widely inv-ested Baronsmead VCT in February.

Matrix Securities has scheduled October for its Triven VCT, to be managed by three separate fund management companies, and Classic Fund Managers and Northern Ventures also plan to bring out autumn VCTs.

Traditionally, most VCT launches take place in the spring at the end of the tax year but two VCTs came out this summer and have already had considerable success.

Classic&#39s iNet, set up last month, has raised £6m of its £10m target, much of which has been through IFAs.

The Matrix-promoted e-ventures opened in May and has raised more than half of its £20m target.

INet fund manager Richard Hargreaves says he has seen a change in IFA attitudes to VCTs in the past few months.

He says: “One major IFA told me his clients are increasingly looking at VCTs as an investment product and not just as a vehicle for tax relief.”

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the biggest IFA promoters of VCTs, accounting for almost 5 per cent of the market.

Investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “There is no reason why everything in the VCT market should be launched in February and March. You can get capital gains at any time of the year. We believe VCTs are a very good investment.”

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