Booming VCTs are ‘good alternative’ to pensions

The managing director of Norwich-based Almary Green said tax breaks, such as tax-free dividends and capital gains tax relief on any sale, made VCTs a “very efficient” way of investing.

He said: “Small companies can often grow a great deal more than larger, more established firms, leaving investors able to achieve a good return.”

Mr Lamb called on advisers to raise awareness of options other than the “well-trodden” pension path, with many put off by the “uncertainty” surrounding the VCT market.

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He added: “For the right investor, who understands the level of risk entailed in VCTs, they can make up a very important part of their portfolio.”

His comments follow the news from the Association of Investment Companies that assets under management in the VCT sector are at their highest-ever level of £2.9bn.

Jason Hollands, managing director of Bestinvest, said: “The VCT market is experiencing some thing of a sweet spot at the moment. Managers are reporting that as a result of the UK recovery, they are seeing strong pipelines of new investment opportunities.

“That should also improve the prospects for an uptick in exits of portfolio companies.”