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Performance levels from ex-military mangers and entrepreneurs are stronger, says report

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Leadership skills and strategic planning learned in the armed forces transfer very well to the business world, helping deliver superior growth and investment returns, according to a report by economist Merlin Stone.

Some 62 per cent of senior executives interviewed believe business leaders with a military background perform better under pressure as a result, and 60 per cent think that they are better at defining goals and motivating others to follow them.
 
The report says that the benefits of a military background extend beyond operating in established businesses: 88 per cent of ex-military entrepreneurs believe their training has helped them to be more successful and 27 per cent said it made raising funds easier.
 
One in five (20 per cent) of FTSE 100 companies have board directors with a military background and four in ten (39 per cent) of these have ex-armed forces senior executives.  Looking at companies in the FTSE 250, 11 per cent and 19 per cent of these have ex-military board directors and senior executives respectively.  
 
Nearly twice as many IFAs believe CEOs with a military background is a ‘positive’.  Similarly, 40 per cent of retail investors see companies run by senior executives with a military background as being an advantage, and 38 per cent would be more willing to invest in a company with a CEO who has served in the armed forces against 11 per cent who would be less willing to do this.
 
The report, which has been commissioned by TIME:REBOOT VCT, a new venture capital trust which invests exclusively in businesses run by commercially proven ex-military entrepreneurs, says there are currently around two million ex-military people working in the UK, but with the current defence budget cuts this number is growing. 
 
The report says thousands of highly trained military personnel are leaving the armed forces as a result of defence cuts, but as they enter the workforce and many set up their own businesses, they will provide a strong boost to the economy.
 
Stone says: “Our research shows that many senior executives of companies and investors view a military background in entrepreneurs and people running companies as a positive.    
 
“The UK military is highly professional and well trained, but as a result of defence cuts many of its personnel are moving on from active service and entering the workplace, which is very good news for our economy and jobs.
 
“From an investment perspective, companies run by former military personnel have a measurable competitive advantage, and investors need to be aware of the opportunities this presents.”
 
Nigel Ashfield, managing director of TIME Investments, says: “We have considerable experience of the SME and VCT market and have identified some incredibly strong and financially exciting businesses run by ex-military people to invest in.  As a result of this, we are confident of delivering – on a conservative basis and including tax relief – growth in excess of 70 per cent over the first five years and to double our investors’ money over 10 years.”

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