Today, the shortlist has been announced for the 2015 Growth Investor Awards, which recognise impact beyond investment in the UK small and medium enterprise (SME) fund management industry. Beringea, Octopus Investments, Puma Investments, Unicorn Asset Management, and YFM Equity Partners have been shortlisted for the Best Venture Capital Trust Investment Manager award, sponsored by national legal business DWF, which recognises providers specialising in Venture Capital Trusts who can demonstrate innovation in product development and impact on SME growth.
They will compete for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the Growth Investor Awards black tie dinner held on 22 October at the Marriott Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London.
The awards are organised by Intelligent Partnership, the UK’s leading provider of research and education in alternative investments and supported by partners including the UK Crowd Funding Association, the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association.
Daniel Kiernan, Research Director of Intelligent Partnership, who headed up the shortlist, commented: “The judging criteria for the Growth Investor Awards was designed in consultation with the industry to ensure it is truly reflective of what is driving improvement and innovation. It’s great to see such a high standard of entries in the inaugural year of these awards and fascinating to see how finalists are adding value while enabling growth. The shortlist has demonstrated that there is real innovation and impact in this industry.”
Thirty five industry leading businesses and individuals have been recognised for awards including Financial Adviser of the Year and Wealth Manager of the Year for those best applying research and education in alternative investments to add value for clients diversifying their portfolios; Best Investment Platform, for equity crowdfunding and investment aggregation sites with the best user experience and product innovation; and Best Enterprise Investment Schemes, Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes, Business Property Relief and Venture Capital Trusts Investment Manager awards for fund managers demonstrating innovation in product development, adviser engagement, and impact on SME growth.
Commenting on the shortlist, Jay Birch, DWF’s Head of Corporate in London, said: “As an active adviser to the venture capital industry, DWF is delighted to sponsor the Growth Investor Awards. Based in 13 locations in England, Scotland, Ireland and Dubai, DWF recognises the catalytic effect that fund managers have on SME investment volume and performance and the untold benefits that tax-efficient investments generate, supporting innovation, economic growth and job creation not only in London, but across the UK.”
The shortlist was guided by an advisory board of industry leaders and influencers including Tony Langham, Chairman of Unbiased.co.uk & Chief Executive of Lansons; Sarah Wadham, Director General of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association; Martin McCourt, former CEO of Dyson & director of Montagu Private Equity; Tim Hames, Director General of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association; and Sherry Coutu CBE, angel investor, entrepreneur and Non-Executive Director of the London Stock Exchange who authored The Scale-Up Report on UK Economic Growth in 2014.
Commenting on the importance of the Growth Investor Awards at a meeting of the advisory board, Tony Langham said: “The investment management industry does a great job for society and helps millions of clients around the country with savings and pensions; but from a public policy point of view it’s under a lot pressure to show what it does for the real economy in terms of infrastructure, growth in jobs and wealth creation. These awards provide a national platform to demonstrate the industry’s impact on SME growth.”
Commenting on the importance of tax efficient investments to the UK economy, Sarah Wadham said: “Some of our bigger companies are not developing new jobs, and in fact downsizing and shedding employees. Practically all growth in employment is coming from SMEs and they are largely funded by the Enterprise Investment Scheme. These companies don’t have any assets and banks can’t lend to them in their early stages so Enterprise Investment Schemes and Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes have really fuelled growth and innovation.”
Finalist entries will now go to a second round of judging to determine the winner in each award category. This independent panel of judges is drawn from within and outside the industry – to bring a range of perspectives and level the playing field. The winner of the Industry Champion Award will be voted for by the advisory board later in the year.
Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership, commented: “This is an exciting and growing industry and with that growth in competition there is a need for fund managers and platforms to differentiate in the eyes of the advisory community and the investors. The Growth Investor Awards help them to achieve that by telling the story of how they are putting money to work in UK SMEs.”
Winners will be revealed at the Growth Investor Awards black tie dinner held on the evening of Thursday 22 October at the Marriott Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, London.
Visit www.growthinvestorawards.com for a full list of all finalists and information on how to attend the event.