View more on these topics

Quester bets on UK companies

Spendlove says: "The useful features include the small minimum £3,000 contribution level, the broader spread of investment sectors, unlike many VCTs that are almost 100 per cent biased towards technology, and the strong performance to date of Quester’s previous launches. There are also the usual tax benefits pertaining to VCTs, along with the fact that the quantity and quality of deal flow is excellent on Quester’s existing VCTs."

Storer says: "There is the past performance of earlier issues and the experience and expertise of the management team, as well as its stability. The fund has a clear focus and also has a minimum investment level of £3,000. This makes it accessible to first timers who don’t want to commit too much but who fancy a punt."

Weighing up the products downsides, Woodward says: "The main disadvantage may be that recent falls in quoted technology and healthcare stocks may have dampened investors appetites for these sectors and higher risk investments in them."

Milton says: "As usual, costs may be high and marketability in the first three years can be difficult. There is also no proven access route at the end either, at asset value."

Storer has more trouble putting his finger on a drawback to the product. He says: "I cannot see any specific disadvantage, although there is a potential disadvantage in the timing, due to the recent upheavals in new economy share prices."

Looking at the trusts’ investment philosophy, Spendlove says: "This is almost a thematically invested smaller companies fund. Quester’s existing VCTs hold a broad spread of reasonably diversified investments and clearly it is hoping to achieve this also with VCT4."

Storer says: "The investment philosophy seems very sensible. It focuses on new business in the new economy, but also invests across the whole range, from internet service providers to healthcare. Care is taken to involve the relevant expertise gathered from previous experience and/or academic background. There appear to be very close links between Quester and many of the businesses it buys into."

Milton mentions that the investment philosophy is fine, but that less emphasis on e-technology might be prudent for the future, while Woodward says: "For investors who understand the risk profile of the type of company that Quester favours, the investment strategy is pretty good. However recent setbacks to some of the companies in the sectors that Quester looks to, means that it remains an open question if it will be as easy to get some of the investments to perform as well eventually."

The panel agree that Quester has built up a strong reputation in the VCT market.

Commenting on Quester’s past performance record, Spendlove says: "It’s reputation here is excellent. The FSA may remind us time and time again that "past performance is no guidance of future returns," but there is little doubt that the expertise and adeptness of the fund management team is of paramount importance when selecting or recommending this type of fund."

Storer however takes a different approach. He says: "Quester has obviously done extremely well for VCT investors and the statistics in isolation are impressive. But in this particular fund, more than any other, past performance is a dubious guide to future success. There are no benchmarks, close competitors or indices against which we can compare results. All I can say is that the overall Quester return of 70 per cent a year is a fair reward for the level of risk taken."

Turning to the product literature, Storer describes this as being very through and a surprisingly good read, while Milton says: "The literature is fine but, as inevitable with a new share issue, it is lengthy and complicated in parts."


US rate cut boosts UK markets

Equity markets have responded well to yesterday&#39s surprise half point cut in US interest rates. Technology, media and telecoms sectors pushed the FTSE 100 up more than 155 points in the first 10 minutes of trading today. US chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan made the rate cut ahead of the scheduled meeting of […]

Personal effects

Tax returnThis needs to be submitted by January 31 in order to avoid an automatic £100 fine. It is a common misconception that if you have not been sent a return by the Inland Revenue you are not required to submit one. You are required to declare all sources of income and capital gains. If […]

Schroders recruits Perpetual fund managers

Schroders has recruited three fund managers from Perpetual to strengthen its US equities team. Ian Brady will become Schroders head of US equities. Philip Chappell and Grant Cowley will also join the team. Former Legal & General joint head of North American securities Ian Cooke is also joining Schroders. Perpetual was bought by Amvescap in […]

Equitable rethinks drawdown transfers

Equitable Life has confirmed it will allow all its income-drawdown policyholders to transfer their plans once new regulations come into force in April. There had been concerns that the company would prevent transfers of drawdown plans taken out before June 29, 2000. Providers, IFAs and Money Marketing were last week told by Equitable&#39s technical services […]

Graphic content – December; the countries most exposed to a rise in protectionism

President-elect Trump has suggested withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and ending negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), albeit there is considerable uncertainty over what he will, or even can, do. If one of the main consequences of the election of Donald Trump is US protectionism, it’s worth considering who stands to […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm