The VCT will provide twice yearly tax-free dividends and capital growth. Initially all the money raised through the offer will be invested in a portfolio of Neptune income funds, UK shares and money market instruments. The lead manager will be Neptune managing director Robin Geffen. The funds are actively managed and stocks are selected on a bottom up basis. The portfolios tend to be fairly concentrated with between 30 and 50 stocks.
Geffen founded Neptune in May 2002. He has over 20 years experience and was previously chief investment officer at Orbitex Investments. Geffen has managed the Neptune balanced fund since launch in 1998, the Neptune global and managed funds since launch in December 2001 and the Neptune UK equity fund since 2000
When suitable investment opportunities are found, 25 per cent of the portfolio will stay with Neptune. The remainder will go into a portfolio of qualifying companies, including those listed on Aim, managed by Calculus. Seed stage companies and start ups will be avoided where the risks are felt to be unacceptably high.
The VCT will take a generalist approach, investing in a diversified portfolio of companies, many of which will operate in traditional sectors. The typical size of investments will be 200,000 to 1m. No company will represent more than 10 per cent and no sector will represent more than 20 per cent.
Keeping 25 per cent of the portfolio in Neptune income funds, UK shares and money market instruments may suit some VCT investors because this strategy does not expose all their capital to unquoted companies.
VCTs are a new area for both companies involved in this product, but Calculus and its parent company, McDonald Glencross, are experienced in running unquoted company portfolios through enterprise investment schemes and for private clients which should stand the managers in good stead.