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Octopus tentacles out to bio VCT

Brewin Dolphin Securities has linked up with Octopus Asset Management for the introduction of the bioscience venture capital trust (VCT).

This VCT invests in a portfolio of between 25 and 30 companies within the biotechnology sector. The portfolio will be made up of quoted companies in the UK and overseas, companies listed on Aim and Ofex, unquoted companies that are in the early stages of development and also those at the later stages.

Growth in the biotechnology sector is driven by the demands for medicines and new treatments from an ageing population that is living longer, so the outlook for investments is encouraging.

Most biotechnology companies emerge from academic institutions like university departments and this VCT will benefit in this respect from its appointment of Medical Marketing International (MMI) as technical adviser. MMI specialises in biotechnology investment and has established links with organisations like the NHS trusts and the Royal College of Surgeons. This network of contacts within the industry will help to assess investment opportunities.

Investors who are willing to take higher risks could find this VCT a worthwhile addition to their portfolio. However, the biotechnology sector requires a lot of funding and some companies may be struggling financially before they fully develop a new drug or make a medical breakthrough. Other companies may have fully developed treatments but these may not be approved, which could put setbacks in the way of this VCT.


McLatchie to be MD at Aegon

Aegon Asset Management is set to appoint Colin McLatchie as its new managing director, replacing current boss Russell Hogan.McLatchie is chief operating officer at AAM and is thought to have won over Aegon bosses ahead of external candidates for the role.Hogan is stepping down as managing director in January to take up a theology course […]

Millennium service from Gerrard

Old Mutual subsidiary Gerrard Investment Funds has introduced the millennium global portfolio service.The service is available for investors who have at least £30,000 and who are looking for an investment that gives them overall control of their investments but which takes the day-to-day management out of their hands.Millennium global portfolio comes with five different strategies […]

Pru to ditch Scot Am brand

Prudential is to ditch the Scottish Amicable brand as part of a major re-structuring. Money Marketing had revealed earlier this year that the brand was up for review, but the re-strcturing also includes Prudential selling its general insurance business to Winterthur, who will merge the new business with their Churchill operation.Prudential also announced that a […]

NU adds its strength to help lift the cap

Norwich Union is hoping to use its financial muscle and market share to lobby the Government to review the 1 per cent cap on stakeholder.NU took £42m of individual stakeholder business on an equivalent premium income basis for the nine months to September 30, out of £168m overall individual business. Group stakeholder sales totalled £21m […]

Jelf flexible benefits

In Focus: How to choose a flexible benefits provider — seven top tips

Jelf Employee Benefits looks at some of the key considerations employers should think about when reviewing and choosing a flexible benefits provider. Choosing the right benefits for your employees is one thing but delivering a successful employee benefits strategy is about understanding the complete picture and delivering it in a personalised way so that it resonates with each and every individual in your business. 


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