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Quester bets on UK companies

QUESTER

Venture Capital Trust 4

Aim: Growth by investing in a spread of unquoted UK companies.

Minimum investment: £3,000.

Opening-closing date: November 1, 2000-April 3, 2001 for tax year 2000/2001. Until May 31, 2001 for tax year 2001/2002.

Charges: None.

Commission: Initial 3 per cent.

Tel: 020 722 5472.

Mark Spendlove, associate director, Bowland Financial Management

Tim Storer, director, Luker Rowe & Co

Philip Milton, managing director, Philip J Milton & Co

Eric Woodward, managing director, EP Ward Investment Services.

Investment philosophy 8.5

Past performance 7.9

Company’s reputation 8.1

Charges 7.1

Commission 6.9

Product literature 6.8

Quester has produced the Quester VCT 4, a venture capital trust (VCT) that invests in a spread of unquoted UK companies that show good potential for growth.

The panel is complimentary about how well the product will fit into the market. Storer says: "There are several launches in progress on the market at the moment, but this is going for a very clearly defined part of this market, which is not exactly overpopulated with competition – so it should fit in well."

Woodward says: "The Quester trust comes into the market with a good pedigree of previous offerings with good records. This is a product that offers a spread of investment and is a good offering."

Spendlove says: "With Quester’s previous VCTs already proven and successful, VCT4 will fit very comfortably into the existing market." Milton agrees, saying that it fits in very well.

Turning to the type of client that the product is suitable for, Spendlove says: "It is suitable for those looking to defer a capital gains tax (CGT) liability and are prepared to accept a higher level of investment risk and volatility over a longer term investment period. It is also suitable for more sophisticated investors full of Pep and Isa investments who are able to obtain up front income tax relief on the full contribution."

Woodward says: "The product will have its main use for the higher rate taxpayer investor who has CGT liabilities he wishes to defer," while Storer says: "This is for the medium term speculator."

Moving on to the marketing opportunities, Milton says: "This product is available to satisfy clients who need advice about CGT liabilities in the one-year roll-over period."

Woodward says: "There are good marketing opportunities for the type of investor described above. Quester has a bias towards new economy growth companies and in the past has had some real winners worthy of serious consideration."

Spendlove says: "We are seeing smaller average lump sum investments than in previous years. In particular we are assisting clients with deferral of small CGT liabilities from Scottish Widows windfall payments. There will continue to be the larger cases prepared to defer CGT liabilities from the sale of business interests and assets."

Examining the strong points that the product provides, Milton thinks that the VCT has a good pedigree, while Woodward says: "The strong points are the size of Quester and its experience in the market. Previously it has provided good returns to investors and this will obviously help attract new funds and ensure the trust launches successfully."

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