Baronsmead AIM VCT plans to launch in February and will, according an ISIS spokesman, seek to build on ‘the investment manager’s very good track record of backing AIM companies’. Henrietta Marsh, who recently joined Baronsmead from rival private equity group 3i, will head up the new fund alongside ISIS veteran David Thorp.
Although the trust will be Baronsmead’s first purely AIM-focused fund, however, it doesn’t represent ISIS’ first move into the market. Prior to its merger with F&C last year ISIS established both the AIM VCT and AIM VCT 2. Bill Brown and Robert Mitchell – who managed these funds on the group’s behalf – departed shortly after ISIS’ merger with F&C last year and, although they took both funds with them, ISIS continues to play a role in their marketing.
The difference, an ISIS spokesman says, is that the Baronsmead team ‘don’t have a history of backing very early-stage businesses but do have a very strong track record in areas like media and services, so I think you can expect to see plenty of action there. Bill and Robert’s focus is slightly different, they will, for example, look at more early-stage ventures.’
ISIS’ plan is to use the new VCT to build a portfolio of between 40-50 AIM investments.