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Sideways Glance: Enterprise boldly goes into Aim market

Charles McMicking and his team at Noble Fund Managers have an excell- ent performance record.

Since September 2001, McMicking has been man- aging one of the top-per- forming venture capital trusts, Enterprise VCT, which invests mainly in smaller companies. In that time, the performance of the underlying investments has increased by much more than the relevant indices.

Its investments in companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market between Septem- ber 2001 and June 30, 2005 are performing at a rate of 25 per cent a year.

There are two portfolios – the EIS Portfolio, which is for those who wish to avoid capital gains tax and inheritance tax after two years, and the Aim Portfolio, which has IHT adv- antages and no tax con- straints on buying and selling within the portfolios as long as the funds are invested in qualifying assets for two years.

The EIS Portfolio will invest in Aim companies with gross assets of less than 15m while the Aim Portfolio will also invest in some bigger companies quoted on Aim. This portfolio will target companies with a trading record of five years or more.

Typical of their investments will be Fountains, which is a grounds maintenance and forestry business. This company is very profitable and is paying dividends.

Another is SMC, an architecture business which has recently joined Aim. This company is profit- able and is expected to pay dividends shortly.

The EIS and AIM Portfolios are a much safer way of investing in these types of smaller companies than buying Aim shares individually. It is of vital importance for these types of portfolios to have top investment management and McMicking and his team provide this.

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