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Smith & Williamson opens VCT portfolio

Smith & Williamson has established a venture capital trust portfolio service for the IFA market.

The portfolio service is part of the tax efficient solutions business Smith & Williamson acquired from Teather & Greenwood last September. Investors will need to have a minimum of 25,000 to invest in a portfolio of at least five VCTs selected by Smith & Williamsons financial planning team.

The team will look at all the VCTs in the market, interview the managers and grade them before making a final selection for a clients portfolio. They will select the VCTs drawing on in-house research, market knowledge and their relationships with VCt managers and management teams.

According to Smith & Williamson, a portfolio of VCTs will add further diversification into the portfolio by providing access to a wider spread of investments and different management styles, which should reduce risk.

Another benefit the company cites is that income
streams will be smoother because dividends from each VCT will be distributed at different times. No charge is made to the client for this service but IFAs will bear the costs as commission on each VCT is split equally with Smith & Williamson.

The service offers VCT selection and execution of the investments but does not provide a monitoring service. Smith & Williamson says VCTs have high standards of reporting and it would be unfair to charge a fee for something investors are already getting.

This service could be useful for IFAs who do not have the specialist knowledge, the time to reach the market or the authorisation for recommending VCTs to clients with income tax liabilities. However, the relative lack of liquidity in the VCT market means that unlike more conventional portfolio management services, scope for active management is limited.


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