Protecting and promoting patient capital

Ten of the largest Venture Capital Trust (VCT) fund managers wanted to strengthen political stakeholders’ knowledge of the contribution VCTs make to the UK’s small businesses, and economy as a whole.

Context 

Newington was approached by a group of ten Venture Capital Trust (VCT) fund managers to: demonstrate how VCT funding effectively contributes to the growth of innovative small businesses; protect the status of VCTs as a vehicle for economic growth; improve their regulatory framework; and reduce the regulatory burden on VCTs.

Strategy 

We advised establishing the ten fund managers as the ‘Venture Capital Trust Association’ (VCTA), representing 75% of the industry and managing £3 billion, before submitting data driven evidence to the Government’s Patient Capital Review (PCR).

Separately, Newington helped the VCTA gain Parliamentary advocates by collating and deploying a library of portfolio case studies where VCT funding had enabled local businesses to grow and create jobs in specific constituencies.

Change 

The VCTA’s profile has increased within Parliament, and amongst wider industry stakeholders, resulting in the recognition of the VCTA as a credible, and trusted, organisation. The data focused approach has also enabled the VCTA to engage stakeholders in HM Treasury in a constructive manner, particularly during the Patient Capital Review when despite there being over 1,900 respondents to consultation, the VCTA held four meetings with HMT and HMRC officials.

A strong working relationship has since been established between the VCTA and the Treasury that has already had some fruitful outcomes, including creating clarity through revised guidance on Advanced Assurance and misinformed regulatory changes, proposed in the PCR, being avoided in the Autumn Budget 2017.  The VCTA have also held a number of engagement meetings with Parliamentarians and other key stakeholders.