Anthony Hilton: A salute to the fund that only invests in businesses run by the ex-military
Saturday 15 March 2014
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.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
Halloween 2014: From the Screaming Man of Pluckley to the 'White Lady' of the Tower of London - Britain's 20 most haunted places
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...