John Davies of Seneca Partners: Introducing Seneca Growth Capital VCT [2019]

**New [2022] interview here: [Meet the Manager: Dr Reuben Wilcock of Blackfinch Ventures Discusses Blackfinch Spring VCT](**

Welcome to the Meet The Manager video interview series. In this episode, we sit down with Dr Reuben Wilcock, the manager of Blackfinch Ventures, to discuss the Blackfinch Spring VCT. Since its launch in 2019/20, Blackfinch Spring has been actively investing during the pandemic.

In this interview, we cover a wide range of topics related to Blackfinch Spring VCT, including:

– An overview of Blackfinch Ventures and the VCT
– Background information about Dr Wilcock and his colleagues
– The types of companies that the VCT invests in
– The importance of having “a hacker, a hustler, and a hipster” on management teams
– Investments in various companies such as Cyclr, OnePulse, Culture Shift, Spotless Water, and Transreport
– The impact of the pandemic on investments and examples of success stories like Tended
– How Blackfinch Ventures adds value to portfolio companies
– Discussion on risks, failure rates, and mitigation strategies
– Exit potential and portfolio performance to date
– Why experienced investors should consider investing in Blackfinch Spring VCT

For more information about Blackfinch Spring VCT, including documents and how to invest, please visit [our website]( Make sure to subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon for more Meet The Manager video interviews.

IMPORTANT: It is important to note that the opinions expressed in this video are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the view of Wealth Club Limited. This interview is not financial advice, and the featured products may not be suitable for everyone. Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) are considered higher risk and less liquid than mainstream investments. Capital loss is possible, and tax rules and benefits are subject to change. If you are uncertain about an investment’s suitability for your circumstances, it is recommended to seek professional advice.

**Keywords/Tags:** Seneca Partners, investment portfolio, venture capital trust, private limited companies, AIM listed companies


**0:00** Introduction

Hi, I’m Alex Davies, founder of Wealth Club. Today I’m with John Davies, investment director at Seneca Partners, to talk about the Seneca Growth Capital VCT. Hello John.

**0:07 First, can you tell me a little bit about Seneca and some background about yourself?**

Of course, yes. I’m an investment director at Seneca, heading up the EIS and VCT funds that sit in our growth capital investment team. In terms of Seneca more broadly, Seneca has Been around for around about seven years, in that time it’s grown from three guys in an office based in the north-west to having almost £750 million under management, and that is spread across multiple disciplines which include private equity investing, bridging, asset-backed lending, advisory, private equity investment, Fund management and of course VCT and EIS investing.

**0:44 So tell me about the VCT.**

Ah, the VCT, so we launched the VCT last year and it’s been a great first year for us. We’ve raised £5.5 million from a standing start. We’ve invested in five exciting growth capital Businesses, we’ve already paid our first maiden dividend as well.

**1:00 And what sort of companies are you looking for?**

Well in this segment it’s all about trying to de-risk the proposition, so we aim to invest into more established businesses. We definitely don’t do startups. With those businesses, we have a generalist approach, again which helps with diversification. We’re looking to back management teams essentially, with good growth potential as well as the diversification through our generalist approach. We like to back AIM-listed and private limited companies, around about 50/50 in terms of the portfolio spread, Which also gives us a certain level of liquidity within the portfolio. A lot of our deal flow comes from the regions, we’ve got a regional focus which we think gives us better value in the investments that are making because there’s less competition.

**1:43 You talk about competition but is there still much competition for the deals in general?**

There is, certainly for the deals coming out of the city, and we will invest in the deals coming out of the city, but what we’ve found particularly with the first five investments We’ve done in the VCT, the majority of those have been off-market deals.

**2:00—10:00 Continue the transcript**

*(Transcript source: [Wealth Club]( )*

* New [2022] interview here:
Meet the manager: We talk to Dr Reuben Wilcock of Blackfinch Ventures about Blackfinch Spring VCT. The newest VCT, Blackfinch Spring launched in 2019/20 and has made most of its investments since the pandemic began. Here are some of the key things we cover:
0:00 About Blackfinch Ventures and the VCT
1:18 Background on Dr Wilcock and colleagues
2:15 What sort of companies does the VCT invest in?
2:47 Why management teams need “a hacker, a hustler and a hipster“
3:39 Investing in Cyclr – easy integrations for SaaS vendors
4:45 Investing in OnePulse – ultra rapid market research tool
5:47 Investing in Culture Shift – addressing harassment in the workplace
6:48 Investing in Spotless Water – ultra pure cleaning liquid
7:40 Investing in Transreport – rail ticketing and passenger assistance app
8:15 Pandemic impact, “Isolation Intern” and the example of Tended
10:16 How does Blackfinch Ventures look to add value to portfolio companies
11:46 Risks, failure rates, and how to mitigate
13:28 Exit potential, and portfolio performance to date
14:56 Why should experienced investors consider Blackfinch Spring VCT?

For more details on Blackfinch Spring VCT, including documents & how to invest, see

Please Subscribe (+ 🔔 ) for more Meet The Manager video interviews.

The opinions expressed in this video are the interviewee’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Wealth Club Limited. This interview, like our service, is not advice and the products featured are not suitable for everyone. VCTs are higher risk and less liquid than mainstream investments. You could lose your capital. Tax rules can change and tax benefits depend on your circumstances. If you’re unsure an investment is right for you, please seek professional advice.

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