Review: Pembroke VCT

Archived article

Archived article: please remember tax and investment rules and circumstances can change over time. This article reflects our views at the time of publication.

The investment strategy of Pembroke VCT – to back passionate entrepreneurs building premium consumer brands – differentiates it from the wider cohort of VCTs.

The investment team tends to get directly involved in investee companies, often taking a significant stake to help shape the strategic direction of the business.

Launched in 2013, the VCT has assets of £117 million and a portfolio of 37 mainly smaller unquoted companies in six sectors: food, beverage & hospitality; wellness; education; design; media; digital services.

In January 2021, Pembroke VCT achieved its first exit: it sold its stake in fresh pasta delivery service Pasta Evangelists to Barilla (the world’s largest pasta producer). This generated a 2.3x return on the initial investment and Pembroke VCT announced a 4p interim dividend (ex-div date 28 January) – past performance is not a guide to the future, dividends are not guaranteed.

This review first appeared in our investment newsletter published on 16 February 2021. It is for experienced investors. It is not advice nor a research or personal recommendation to invest. If you’re unsure, please seek advice. Investments are for the long term. They are high risk and illiquid and can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest.

Experienced, entrepreneurial managers

Pembroke Investment Managers, the VCT manager, is part of Oakley Capital group, which was founded by serial entrepreneur Peter Dubens and manages €4.2 billion.

CEO Andrew Wolfson has first-hand experience of growing businesses as an entrepreneur and an investor. He leads the VCT investment and portfolio management team with Chris Lewis (CFO). Past and current directors have invested £2.23 million in Pembroke VCT and intend to invest further under the current offer. 

Covid-19 impact

Whilst some companies have suffered and/or have had to adjust their operations because of Covid-19, many have continued to grow, including the two largest holdings (plant-based drinks brand Plenish and AI-powered photobook publisher Popsa) as well as newer investments. Popsa, for instance, had sales of £20 million in 2020, up from £7.3 million in 2019. Overall, after an initial fall in net asset value in March 2020, NAV increased to 113.2p by December, more than fully reversing the impact from the pandemic. In addition, the VCT paid a 3p dividend. Past performance is not a guide to the future. 

Dividends and performance

The dividend target is 3p per share a year (variable and not guaranteed). In the five years to December 2020, the VCT has paid 14p generating a NAV total return of 29.7%.

Source: Morningstar. Past performance is no guide to the future. Dividends are variable and not guaranteed. The bar chart shows net asset value and cumulative dividends per share for the period 31 Dec 2015 to 31 Dec 2020.

What to consider next

Visit the Pembroke VCT offer page to download the provider documents and read more, including risks and charges. You can apply online.

This review first appeared in our investment newsletter published on 16 February 2021. Please remember, VCTs invest in smaller companies, which are high risk: you could lose all the capital you invest.

Wealth Club aims to make it easier for experienced investors to find information on – and apply for – tax-efficient investments. You should base your investment decision on the provider's documents and ensure you have read and fully understand them before investing. This review is a marketing communication. It is not advice or a personal or research recommendation to buy the investment mentioned. It does not satisfy legal requirements promoting investment research independence and is thus not subject to prohibitions on dealing ahead of its dissemination.

Pembroke VCT – apply online

Read our full review, download the provider documents and see the offer details, including risks and charges. You can apply online.

Read more and apply online