Anthony Hilton: A salute to the fund that only invests in businesses run by the ex-military

 

The week’s most interesting investment idea is a fund which will only invest in businesses run by ex-military people.

The fund itself, known rather clumsily as Time Reboot VCT, was actually launched in December, but this week published an academic study which it had sponsored, by Professor Merlin Stone. This suggested that former military personnel, because of their training, were far more likely than the average to make good entrepreneurs and managers.

The architects of the fund are sufficiently convinced for them to target growth of 70 per cent over the first five years and a doubling of investor money over 10 years. That does include tax relief, however, because it is a venture capital trust.

There is certainly an opportunity here because the report says there are two million in the UK workforce with a military background and the number becoming available will swell as a result of defence budget cuts and manpower reductions.

Of those ex-military who are already in business, nine out of 10 believe their training helped them to be more successful and over a quarter said it helped in their original fundraising. On the investor side, four in 10 believe that companies run by ex-military will perform better than the average, and there is also a slight favourable bias towards investing in companies led by ex-military people.

It will be interesting to see how it works in practice. Venture capital trusts typically are aimed at start-ups or small, growing businesses. I suspect the military are far better in small businesses where they can show leadership and set the culture from the off. In larger, established companies it can be a different story, although some 20 per cent of FTSE 100 companies have board directors and 39 per cent have some senior executives from a military background. The figures for the FTSE 250 are 11 per cent and 19 per cent respectively. Their senior colleagues like them because they say they are better at performing under pressure and better at defining and achieving goals.

One problem is that they sometimes have difficulty adjusting because they cannot get their heads round the indiscipline, the lack of teamwork and the vicious office politics which characterise a lot of private-sector companies at senior management level. The idea that ambitious executives would do what is good for them rather than what is good for the business was alien to them in the Army, but quite common in business.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable