A new fund offering investment to innovators and entrepreneurial companies will be an economic enabler for Guernsey.
The Guernsey Investment Fund will invest in projects and businesses which have a Bailiwick of Guernsey focus, or which may benefit directly or indirectly the development of the Bailiwick. Its aim is to deliver long-term capital growth to its shareholders, which includes the States of Guernsey who have committed to investing up to £25m.
An independent board has been appointed to have overall responsibility for the management of the Guernsey Investment Fund, each cell and its respective portfolio. Chairman Gilbert Chalk will be joined by John Hollis, who has been a non-States member of the Guernsey Treasury & Resources Board and the Guernsey States Trading Supervisory Board, and Mel Carvill, a director of a number of global financial services companies.
‘The Guernsey Investment Fund is a significant source of new finance for technology and innovation which will provide Guernsey with a potentially wide and lucrative window on new leading technologies,’ said Mr Chalk.
‘The board is honoured to be given the opportunity to launch the fund which we believe will stimulate growth, generate employment opportunities and diversify the tax base. It’s fantastic to see that there is already a number of interesting projects which are looking for investment.’
The fund, which will be managed by Ravenscroft, may be made up of a number of protected cells, with the technology and innovation cell being the first to launch. Property and infrastructure cells are being considered for the future. The intention is that each cell will be fully invested within five years with an intended realisation within 10 years.
‘The idea of the Guernsey Investment Fund came about through discussions between the States of Guernsey and Ravenscroft. The launch is the result of months of hard work by a whole team who share a passion for Guernsey’s future prosperity,’ said Jon Ravenscroft, group chief executive officer, Ravenscroft.
‘Ravenscroft has proven expertise and experience in investing in local business. We are incredibly proud to have played an important role in the success of many well-known Channel Islands’ companies and want to use that knowledge to help nurture new and growing businesses.’
MXC Advisory Limited has been appointed as a consultant to Ravenscroft in relation to sourcing and managing investments for the technology and innovation cell. MXC Advisory Limited is a subsidiary of MXC Capital Limited, an investment and advisory business specialising in investing in technology companies and quoted on AIM. MXC Guernsey Limited, also a subsidiary of MXC Capital Limited, has committed to invest up to £5m in the cell.
Pula Investments Limited, the family office of Ravenscroft’s chairman Stephen Lansdown, has also made a commitment to the technology and innovation cell. Further fundraising will be undertaken ahead of additional cells being launched.
Investments will only be made after thorough due diligence has been completed and only then with the approval of the independent board of directors of the fund.
‘We have already had a number of enquiries from parties interested in applying for funding. At this early stage, we don’t know where the demand will come from and the fund has been established to help those innovators who require only thousands of pounds and those entrepreneurial companies who need considerably more. The most important detail is that they have a proposal which has untapped but achievable potential,’ said Mr Ravenscroft.
International Administration Group (Guernsey) Limited has been appointed as administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers (CI) LLP as auditor and Ferbrache & Farrell LLP as legal counsel.
Anyone interested in making an application for funding can contact Ravenscroft by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org