Investment policy and guidelines
The Company’s investment objective is to generate capital growth over the long term through investment in a focused portfolio of fast growing and/or high potential private financial services technology (“fintech”) businesses based predominantly in the UK and wider Europe.
In order to achieve its investment objective, the Company invests in early or later stage investments in unquoted fintech businesses. The Company intends to realise value through exiting the investments over time.
The Company seeks exposure to early stage businesses which are high growth, with scalable opportunities, and have disruptive technologies in the banking, insurance and wealth and asset management sectors as well as those that provide services to underpin the financial sector and other cross-industry propositions.
Investments are expected to be mainly in the form of equity and equity-related instruments issued by portfolio companies, although investments may be made by way of convertible debt instruments. The Company intends to invest in unquoted companies and will ensure that the Company has suitable investor protection rights where appropriate. The Company may also invest in partnerships, limited liability partnerships and other legal forms of entity. The Company will not invest in publicly traded companies. However, portfolio companies may seek initial public offerings from time to time, in which case the Company may continue to hold such investments without restriction.
The Company may acquire investments directly or by way of holdings in special purpose vehicles or intermediate holding entities (such as the Partnership).
The Management Team has historically taken a board or observer position on investee companies and, where in the best interests of the Company, will do so in relation to future investee companies.
The Company’s portfolio is expected to be diversified across a number of geographical areas predominantly within the UK and wider Europe and the Company will at all times invest and manage the portfolio in a manner consistent with spreading investment risk.
The Management Team will actively manage the portfolio to maximise returns, including helping to scale the team, refining and driving key performance indicators, stimulating growth, and positively influencing future financing and exits.
The Company will invest and manage its assets with the object of spreading risk through the following investment restrictions:
- The value of no single investment (including related investments in group entities or related parties) will represent more than 15 per cent. of Net Asset Value;
- The aggregate value of seed stage investments will represent no more than 1 per cent. of Net Asset Value; and
- At least 80 per cent of Net Asset Value will be invested in businesses which are headquartered in or have their main centre of business in the UK or wider Europe.
In addition, the Company will itself not invest more than 15 per cent. of its gross assets in other investment companies or investment trusts which are listed on the Official List.
Each of the restrictions above will be calculated at the time of investment and disregard the effect of the receipt of rights, bonuses, benefits in the nature of capital or by reason of any other action affecting every holder of that investment. The Company will not be required to dispose of any investment or to rebalance the portfolio as a result of a change in the respective valuations of its assets.
Hedging and derivatives
Save for investments made using equity-related instruments as described above, the Company will not employ derivatives of any kind for investment purposes. Derivatives may be used for currency hedging purposes.
The Company may, from time to time, use borrowings to manage its working capital requirements but shall not borrow for investment purposes. Borrowings will not exceed 10 per cent. of the Company’s Net Asset Value, calculated at the time of borrowing.
The Company may hold cash on deposit and may invest in cash equivalent investments, which may include short-term investments in money market type funds and tradeable debt securities. There is no restriction on the amount of cash or cash equivalent investments that the Company may hold or where it is held. The Board has agreed prudent cash management guidelines with the AIFM to ensure an appropriate risk / return profile is maintained. Cash and cash equivalents are held with approved counterparties, and in line with prudent cash management guidelines, agreed with the Board, AIFM and Portfolio Manager. It is expected that the Company will hold between 5 and 15 per cent. of its Gross Assets in cash or cash equivalent investments, for the purpose of making follow-on investments in accordance with the Company’s investment policy and to manage the working capital requirements of the Company.
Changes to the investment policy
No material change will be made to the investment policy without the approval of Shareholders by ordinary resolution. Non-material changes to the investment policy may be approved by the Board. In the event of a breach of the investment policy set out above and the investment and gearing restrictions set out therein, the Management Team shall inform the AIFM and the Board upon becoming aware of the same and if the AIFM and/or the Board considers the breach to be material, notification will be made to a Regulatory Information Service.