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Diversification

Phoenix backs early stage firms with £100m VC fund

Standard Life house

Phoenix will expose investors to new asset class

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, has launched its first dedicated venture capital fund to invest in disruptive and early stage businesses.

With an initial allocation in excess of £100m, Phoenix Venture Capital Partners will allow Phoenix Life unit-linked and with-profits policyholders, to diversify into an asset class that has until now been largely reserved for institutional investors.

This is the first allocation to venture capital in the policyholder funds, and the first allocation to patient capital in the unit linked funds.

It will partner Aberdeen Standard Investments to invest mainly in disruptive and transformative early stage UK based start-ups and businesses pursuing an ESG approach within a number of sectors including fintech, green energy and healthcare.

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The investments made through the newly created fund will help business to scale-up whilst giving them access to the expertise that they require.  

James Mitchell, Head of Manager Oversight, Edinburgh-based Phoenix Group, said: “We are pleased to have made an initial allocation to Venture Capital for our policyholder funds, which we see as a key enabler to helping Build Britain Back Better whilst providing our policyholders with a diversified source of sustainable returns.

“The new Venture Capital fund will support Healthcare, Green Energy and FinTech entrepreneurs up and down the country, providing them with the capital and the expertise they need to level up and grow their businesses.

“Subject to market conditions, we intend to increase this allocation in due course as we see this as an attractive asset class, consistent with our policyholder’s objectives and values.” 

Aileen Mathieson, global head of insurance, Aberdeen Standard Investments said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Phoenix to develop this new venture capital fund which enables Phoenix policyholders to access venture capital opportunities, particularly those focused on ESG themes.

Our venture capital team, which has a very strong track record of raising assets, will be managing the fund and targeting high quality venture capital managers. 

“The fund’s creation benefitted from the recent insurance permitted-link changes, making this an innovative long-term investment strategy for the Phoenix policyholder and with-profits books that have committed capital to the fund.”



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