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Downing launches ‘knowledge intensive’ EIS fund

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Specialist tax-efficient investment manager Downing LLP has launched a new Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), giving investors the opportunity to support the unprecedented growth of companies at the cutting edge of healthcare.

Specialist tax-efficient investment manager Downing LLP has launched a new Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), giving investors the opportunity to support the unprecedented growth of companies at the cutting edge of healthcare.

The Downing Healthcare EIS Knowledge Intensive Fund is the latest addition to Downing’s prominent range of tax-efficient investments, which also includes Downing Ventures EIS and VCTs.
 
As the fund invests in knowledge intensive (KI) companies, this allows investors to receive attractive income tax relief in the same tax year the investment is made, as well as carry it back to the previous tax year. Investors who subscribe before the first close of the fund on 1 April 2021 can benefit from the income tax relief in the 2019/20 tax year as well as the 20/21 tax year.
 
Downing has a dedicated and highly experienced healthcare and life sciences team that since 2014 have deployed over GBP27 million of venture capital across 17 businesses in the sector. They are part of the wider Downing Ventures team of 13 which has deployed more than GBP150 million to date.
 
Will Brooks, investment director in the healthcare and life sciences team at Downing, says: “The UK is the perfect ecosystem for fostering healthcare and life sciences, with its world-leading institutes and remarkable successes such as the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
 
“And with further funding, we believe that the UK can really cement its place as a leading global healthcare and life sciences hub. There are a number of trends that we expect will continue to experience excellent growth, as the world fully wakens up to the importance of innovative healthcare in light of Covid-19. These include personalised medicine shaped by genomics, cell therapies and digital health, as well as hardware and artificial intelligence (AI) innovations that will help push out diagnostics to the point of care.”
 
Due to the high-risk nature of early-stage investments (in return for potentially higher returns), the fund is aimed primarily at higher net worth investors. But to reflect the rising market demand for healthcare investing in the wake of Covid-19 and the company’s desire to maximise support for healthcare businesses, Downing has reduced its usual minimum investment from GBP15,000 to GBP5,000. This also makes investing easier for those who may wish to put a smaller part of their overall portfolio in a single sector investment. The fund is still intended as a long-term investment with an expected holding period of four to eight years. 
 
 

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