Venture Capital Trusts
Access a portfolio of fast growing smaller UK companies through a Venture Capital Trust, benefitting from attractive initial tax reliefs and the potential for tax-free income.
Important Information regarding investing in VCTs. Please take the time to read this before proceeding.
Taxation rules and legislation may be subject to change. The value of tax relief depends on personal circumstances.
Past performance of Maven VCTs is not an indication of future performance. The price of VCT shares can fall and rise in value and may be difficult to sell.
Maven VCTs invest in smaller, early stage companies, which can be difficult to value and dispose of.
Maven VCTs aim to pay regular dividends to shareholders but these are not guaranteed.
Maven VCTs are intended for UK taxpayers aged 18 or over with an investment horizon of five or more years and who are able to bear 100% capital loss and with a medium to high risk tolerance. Investors in Maven VCTs will generally be informed investors with either experience in investing in VCTs or with a knowledge and understanding of the risks involved. If you are unsure about the risks of investing in VCTs you should always seek the advice of a regulated financial adviser.
Invest in a widely diversified portfolio of high-growth businesses
The UK has a rich history of producing dynamic, innovative companies led by ambitious management teams. With the right investment, at the right time, these companies have the potential to grow into market leaders often leading to an high value acquisition by a trade or financial buyer.
Since 1995 Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) have played a vital role in providing equity finance to fast growing companies across the UK. VCTs have helped to create jobs and support innovation, whilst at the same time offering investors a wide range of tax incentives to help offset the investment risk.
Investment in one of Maven generalist VCTs provides access to widely diversified portfolios of exciting and high growth British businesses, which have the potential to generate tax-free income and gains during the life of the holding.
VCT shares should be seen as a long-term investment. A VCT’s underlying investments will normally be in unlisted companies whose securities are not publicly traded and are therefore likely to be illiquid and carry substantially higher risk than investments in larger, listed companies. The value of VCT shares, and the level of income derived from them, may fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the money originally invested. Existing tax levels and reliefs may change and the value of reliefs depends on personal circumstances. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. No projection or forecast should be inferred from information on this page.
What is a VCT?
VCTs are investment companies, similar in structure to Investment Trusts, whose share are listed and traded on the London Stock Exchange. VCTs were introduced in 1995 as a government measure aimed at encouraging private investors to invest in small UK companies, whilst allowing them to benefit from some of the most attractive tax incentives available to UK investors.
SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) employ a significant proportion of the UK workforce, and growth capital is critical in supporting their ability to innovate, diversify their product ranges and expand internationally or into new markets. VCTs therefore provide a valuable bridge between private capital and the UK SME sector, ensuring that entrepreneurial companies can continue to access equity finance to fund their growth.
Reasons to invest in Venture Capital Trusts
Tax-free dividends and growth
VCTs pay tax free dividends to shareholders, and gains are exempt from Capital Gains Tax on sale of shares.
Tax relief of up to 30%
Initial income tax relief of up to 30% on the amount subscribed for new VCT shares (subject to the investor’s tax circumstances and retaining the shares for at least five years).
Access to highly diversified portfolios of carefully selected private and AIM listed UK companies.
Backing British businesses
Supporting the future of British business, innovation and job creation.
The Maven VCTs
Maven is one of the most active managers in the VCT sector. Our team has a wealth of experience that allows us to identify early-stage businesses with the potential for substantial growth, and then to add value to those businesses in order to generate attractive returns for our VCT investors.
established VCTs, each with a history of positive shareholder returns
has been raised over 13 consecutive years of VCT fundraising.
new private company investments completed since January 2019.
profitable private company realisations since January 2019, with money multiple returns of up to 6.5x.
target annual dividend yield (% of NAV per share).
experienced professionals sourcing, executing, and managing VCT investments.
Alternative Investment Market (AIM)
Maven is one of the few managers in the VCT market able to offer a hybrid private company and AIM investment strategy, providing access to a wider range of VCT qualifying opportunities. Our dedicated London based AIM team has many years' experience of sourcing and transacting AIM investments in a range of sectors including biotech and life sciences.
Backing emerging and fast growing UK companies
Since we co-invested in GRP, as part of the Penta syndicate, the business expanded rapidly and in just over six years the business completed 59 acquisitions and has grown to become the UK’s second largest independent insurance intermediary, with gross written premium of almost £800 million.
Andrew Ferguson, Partner at Maven
We are delighted to have supported the team at Symphonic Software as they have scaled this exciting business. Maven’s exit from Symphonic is an excellent result for the Maven VCTs, and demonstrates our credentials in identifying high quality management teams and supporting entrepreneurial, emerging businesses in achieving their growth plans.
Alan Robertson, Investment Director at Maven
The sale of the GEV Group is a great return for our investors. The growth of the Group since the MBO is testament to both the quality of the business and its senior management team. We are proud of how we have supported the Directors to execute their strategy that has significantly expanded its global footprint and improved its service capability and market reputation.
Andrew Ferguson, Partner at Maven
The sale of ELE is a positive strategic move for the business, enabling it to accelerate its growth plans, and has delivered a good return for investors in Maven Income and Growth. We would like to thank the ELE team for their hard work and wish the business good luck in the next stage of its development.
Mike Collis, Head of Portfolio at Maven
It was obvious during our very first meeting that Crawford had something special in terms of its technical know-how, customer service and strong culture and it has been a real pleasure working with this talented and dynamic management team over the past three years. This investment has been a positive one for our investors, delivering a 4.5x money multiple return and 70% IRR.
David Milroy, Partner at Maven
Maven believed in our vision for the business and has been a hugely supportive financial partner and adviser, helping transform SPS through a combination of small acquisitions, international growth, and operational efficiencies. SPS is in the position where it will now benefit from being part of a larger group and it is thanks to the foundations that Maven helped the management team of SPS to put into place that we are were able to attract the interest of such a successful global business.
Philip Morgan, CEO at SPS
Current VCT Offers
For the first time in eight years, investors have the opportunity to subscribe for New Shares in all four Maven Income and Growth VCTs, each with a long term track record of delivering positive shareholder returns.
An Early Investment Incentive discount is currently available and applies for valid applications received until 31 January 2023.
Maven manages four established VCTs, each with a history of positive shareholder returns and a large, highly diversified portfolio of carefully selected early-stage businesses with significant potential for growth.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Venture Capital Trust (VCT)?
A VCT is an investment company whose shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is one of the most tax-efficient vehicles available to UK investors. A VCT is run by a specialist fund manager and aims to generate capital gains and income for its shareholders by investing in emerging companies with high growth potential. Although investment in earlier-stage businesses involves a higher level of risk than investment in larger, listed businesses, VCTs offer significant tax benefits for individual investors including the potential to provide a supplementary source of income.
What are the tax benefits of investing in new VCT shares?
- Initial Income Tax relief of up to 30% on subscription*
- Dividends are paid free of Income Tax
- Gains made on the disposal of the shares are free from Capital Gains Tax.
*In order for the initial tax relief to be retained, the shareholder must hold the new shares for at least five years after investment. Initial income Tax relief is generally available on a maximum investment level of £200,000 in the tax year, and is restricted to the amount which reduces the income tax liability to zero for the year of subscription – however eligibility for tax reliefs depends on an investors specific circumstances and Maven cannot advise on taxation.
It is worth noting that VCT Shares purchased on the open (secondary) market also offer tax-free dividends and exemption from Capital Gains Tax on disposal, but that they do not benefit from Initial Income Tax relief (though there is also no tax-related five year minimum holding period).
How can I buy and sell VCT Shares?
As well as investors subscribing for new VCT shares through Share offers, which many VCTs will launch periodically and allow investors to benefit from up to 30% initial tax relief, VCT shares can be purchased in the open ('secondary’) market.
VCT shares are sold in the open ('secondary’) market, just like any other shares listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Maven cannot advise on the sale or purchase of VCT shares, but if you are interested in buying or selling shares in the Maven VCTs you should contact your broker/adviser and request that they contact Shore Capital Stockbrokers Limited (Tel: 020 7647 8132), the principal market maker.
Have I received a fraudulent contact about my shares?
VCT Boiler Room Scams
Some shareholders have received unsolicited calls from organisations offering to buy their VCT shares at prices much higher than current market values, or to sell non-tradable, overpriced, high risk or even non-existent securities. Whilst the callers may sound credible, shareholders should be aware that their intentions are often fraudulent. If you receive such a call, you should exercise caution and take note of the advice available from the ACTION FRAUD website as well as consulting the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website (which contains valuable information on how to avoid investment and pension scams).
We have also received reports of fictitious firms purporting to be Maven or affiliated with Maven. Examples of the company names being used are as follows:
- Maven Investor (Jan 2021) - maveninvestor.co
- Bitmantic (April 2021) - bitmantic.com
- MTrading Investment (March 2021) - mtradinginvestment.com
If you have any doubts about who you are dealing with always seek professional advice.
What is Maven's investment approach?
Maven has a generalist investment focus, with and the collective skills and experience to invest across a wide range of industry sectors and a broad geographical base. The objective for each Maven VCT is to continually develop and expand the portfolio, maintaining a regular turnover of assets through a cycle of investment, realisation, distribution of dividends, re-investment and fundraising, to continue growing the portfolio.
Maven is also one of the few managers in the market able to offer a dual private company and AIM portfolio strategy, which allows each of its VCTs to maximise portfolio and sector diversification and spread investment risk across large, broadly based portfolios. Maven believes that a hybrid private company and AIM strategy provides the best approach for optimising Shareholder returns, combining the long term capital return potential of high-growth private company assets with the ability to achieve shorter term returns from carefully selected AIM investments.
Since January 2016, following VCT rule changes that required VCTs to focus on earlier stage private companies, Maven has been one of the most active managers in the industry, completing new investments in high growth businesses active in defensive sectors such as software, cyber security, life sciences, biotech, web archiving, data analytics, fintech, training, medtech and healthcare.
Maven has a nationwide presence through a regional office network and investment team capable of completing VCT qualifying investments and then working closely with each investee company to provide ongoing strategic and operational support, before pursuing a sale. Maven’s experienced team offers specialist knowledge of growth capital and early stage investment across a diverse range of industry sectors, as well as a specialist London-based AIM team.
How does Maven select its VCT assets?
The Maven VCTs have a history of backing entrepreneurial businesses in some of the UK’s most vibrant sectors, where Maven’s multi sector expertise allows our nationwide team to source and execute attractive new private and AIM listed investments across the regional markets, focusing on those companies able to embrace innovation, exploit market opportunities and create skilled employment.
Maven targets investment across a wide range of sectors, in carefully vetted private companies that have strong core characteristics, and which are each led by a capable management team with a proven track record in their current or a previous business. This approach, underpinned by Maven’s many years of experience in investing in SMEs, helps to mitigate the underlying investment risk inherent in earlier stage private company investment.
Maven looks to invest in companies which have proprietary technology, intellectual property or a business model that has the potential to improve shareholder value by having a significant impact on its sector or market, either by displacing existing products, or by creating a new or enhanced product or service.
Maven’s regional business model ensures that our team are introduced to a consistent flow of new opportunities, across a wide range of sectors, and allows Maven to take a highly selective approach to private company investment, aiming to only support companies which have the potential to deliver sustainable growth in revenues, and where investment can be secured at an entry price that offers the prospect of attractive returns in the future. Our specialist AIM team, operating from our London office and well known to the key broker community, also sources and makes selected new quoted investments on behalf of the VCTs.
How does Maven manage investment risk?
With over 250 years’ collective experience of investing in UK private companies, the Maven team has a structured approach to identifying and managing the risk associated with VCT investment. We have developed a rigorous selection process, investing only at attractive entry prices in businesses run by proven management teams we believe can deliver value for all investors at exit. Each VCT holds a diverse range of investments, generally with a broad base of 50 to 60 private company investments focussed on medium to long term growth, alongside selected AIM investments which may offer the potential for shorter term returns based on news flow and share price performance. We believe this hybrid portfolio approach is the optimal strategy for a VCT, and helps reduce the risk of investing in a narrow or single market basis.
At portfolio company level, Maven uses a range of risk mitigation strategies, including investing progressively in stages or tranches, making an initial commitment amount in tandem with an expectation of providing follow-on funding if the business achieves agreed commercial milestones. Maven will also often co-invest in certain transactions alongside Maven managed non-VCT funds or with other experienced Private equity investment managers, allowing each VCT to spread portfolio risk by completing a large number of investments.
This considered approach allows each VCT to maximise the potential for long term capital appreciation and tax free dividends from a widely diversified portfolio of entrepreneurial small businesses, across different asset classes - private equity and AIM.
How does Maven manage its VCT portfolio after making an investment?
Maven is committed to supporting our portfolio businesses throughout the investment period. We aim to build strong relationships with the management teams we back and will support them in delivering their growth strategy and ambitions for the business, ultimately with the aim of driving increased shareholder value.
Although young, earlier stage businesses offer the potential for attractive and rapid growth, they often have less in-house Management or business expertise than larger more mature businesses. A well resourced VCT manager will have the expertise to help support the team, particularly as it undertakes strategic initiatives such as developing new product lines, internationalising its operations or identifying potential acquisitions.
Ready to invest?
Use the form if you want information about any current VCT Offers open for investment. Or subscribe to our newsletter to receive news about Maven growth capital and private equity investments.