Venture Capital Trusts  

Gresham House’s VCTs max out raising £70mn 

Gresham House’s VCTs max out raising £70mn 
Miles Willis/Bloomberg

Investors have transferred £70mn into Gresham House’s newly bolstered venture capital trusts so far this year.

The asset manager bought the Mobeus VCT business for £36mn in September 2021, adding to its purchase of the Baronsmead VCT business back in 2018. Together, the two trusts formed a platform with assets of £850mn.

In a trading update for the six-month period to June 30, 2022, the asset manager said the two VCTs achieved their “maximum” fundraising targets in the first quarter of this year, despite macroeconomic headwinds and lower stock market valuations.

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VCTs have increased in popularity over the past few years due to the tax breaks they offer investors against the backdrop of tax band freezes which are prompting people to look for ways to cut down on their tax bills.

Experts have also noted the trend of original managers of the UK's VCTs are selling out and cashing in, leading to a significantly consolidated market.

In its results, Gresham House’s overall assets under management climbed by £800mn over the period, to £7.3bn from £6.5bn at the end of last year.

It also recorded net inflows to the group's open-ended equity funds of £70mn.

The firm’s chief executive, Tony Dalwood, said: “With several fundraising initiatives underway across our divisions, and a growing international presence, Gresham House is well positioned for the second half of 2022 to continue growing the business in line with our strategy.”

Gresham House has continued to grow asset allocation in specialist alternatives. Its listed utility-scale battery energy storage fund, Gresham House Energy Storage Fund, completed a placing to raise £150mn, and its UK shared ownership housing fund, Gresham House Residential Secure Income LP, raised £65mn.

During the past six months, the firm has also invested £13mn to develop battery energy storage and renewable energy projects. 

“The growth in asset allocation to specialist alternatives continues alongside specific demand for our asset classes,” it said in its results.

“The pipeline of indicated commitments to the British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (BSIF) II, international and UK forestry funds and real estate funds in H2 continues to be strong.”

Internationally, the asset manager completed the acquisition of Irish commercial property asset firm, Burlington Real Estate, in March 2022 for €1.8mn (£1.5mn), and acquired New Zealand forestry and carbon credit assets for £49mn on behalf of an institutional client.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com