Hargreave Hale AIM VCT

Update (22 June 2020): Intention to fundraise announced

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT has announced it intends to open a share offer in 2020/21 to raise up to £20 million, with an overallotment facility of £10 million. You can register your interest here.

We will update our review as soon as the new offer documents are available. You can read excerpts of our previous review below.

Register your interest now – no obligation


Hargreave Hale specialises in smaller companies investing. Its AIM VCT has net assets of around £130 million (12 Jun 2020).


  • Managed by one of the UK's best-resourced small and micro-cap investment teams
  • Dividend target of 5% of NAV a year, paid twice a year. Dividends are not guaranteed
  • Ongoing expense ratios of around 2% per year, one of the lowest in the VCT industry
  • Diverse portfolio of 80+ companies – mainly AIM-listed firms but also some unquoted businesses
  • Bias towards IT, healthcare and consumer discretionary businesses

Important: The information on this website 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.

The manager

Hargreave Hale is a well established fund manager that specialises in smaller UK companies. It has been managing AIM VCTs since 2004. It also manages several unit trusts marketed under the Marlborough brand, including the well known Special Situations Fund, the UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund and the Multi-Cap Income Fund.

In 2017 Hargreave Hale was acquired by Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, the UK arm of Canaccord Genuity, a global investment group headquartered in Canada. In April 2018 the business adopted the brand of CGWM (UK). In total Canaccord manages £26.9 billion (June 2018).

In March 2018 Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc merged with Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 2 to form Hargreave Hale AIM VCT. 

The VCT has been managed by Oliver Bedford and Giles Hargreave. Mr Hargreave intends to step back from his role as co-manager from the end of 2020. Although he will no longer hold a formal portfolio management role, it is understood that he will continue to support the VCT’s fund management team.

Watch an exclusive video interview with Oliver Bedford of Hargreave Hale:

Recorded 16 October 2018

Examples of portfolio companies

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT – ZOO Digital GroupZOO Digital Group plc – AIM listed

ZOO Digital started in 2001 producing software used by companies in DVD and Blu-ray production and in 2006 launched its first localisation service.

This proved a fortunate move. Whilst demand for its DVD-based technology ‘fell off a cliff’ a few years ago, in the words of CEO Dr Stuart Green, the company’s localisation services have thrived thanks to the proliferation of digital content. ZOO Digital now works with the biggest names in global entertainment and media, including the 'Big Six' Hollywood studios, leading online retailers, the world's largest broadcasters, independent distributors and brand agencies. It provides technology and services to subtitle and dub TV series and feature films in any language and prepare them for sale with all major online platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, Google and Hulu. 

Hargreave Hale invested £2.7 million in April 2017, becoming the third largest shareholder. 

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT – GoustoGousto (SCA Investments) – unquoted

Gousto was one of the first subscription-based meal-kit providers. The company started in 2012 when he online grocery market was just starting and the outlook was promising. At the same time, a growing number of people wanted to eat more healthily but didn’t have the time or ability to cook nutritious food from scratch. Gousto delivers fresh – usually organic – ingredients straight to someone’s door, alongside easy-to-follow recipes.

Its early investors include Angel CoFund, MMC Ventures, Unilever Ventures and BGF Ventures. Hargreave Hale invested £2.5 million in July 2017.

Risks: important

This, like all investments available through Wealth Club, is only for experienced investors happy to make their own investment decisions without advice. 

VCTs are high-risk so should only form part of a balanced portfolio and you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose. They also tend to be illiquid and hard to sell and value. Before you invest, please carefully read the Risks and Commitments and the offer documents to ensure you fully understand the risks. 

Tax rules can change and benefits depend on circumstances.

VCTs can now only invest new money in growth capital deals. Management buyouts, replacement capital deals and investments in mature companies are no longer permitted. This results in considerably higher risks.

AIM shares can be very volatile and could suffer extreme volatility if the market falls sharply. The difference between the buying and selling price of AIM-listed companies is often wider than those listed on the main market. 

How to invest

The VCT is not currently open to new subscriptions, but intends to launch an offer for subscription in 2020/21. 

Register your interest now to receive alerts when new VCT offers open.

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.

The details

Target dividend
Initial charge
Initial saving via Wealth Club
Net initial charge
Annual rebate
Funds raised / sought
Coming soon
Last updated: 7 November 2018

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