As I announced last week, we're delighted that on our next webinar - taking place on Wednesday 28th March at 2pm (GMT) - I'll be joined by both our co-founder and CEO Norm Peterson, and Mark Brownridge, Director General of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA).
Following the same style as our previous webinars in general, but with this session taking more of a 'discussion panel', what should you expect when you join us for the webinar?
1. An informative and insightful discussion into one of the UK's most established investment schemes from two industry leaders
Norm's knowledge and experience of the industry is extensive. Holding senior positions in startups, mid-sized SMEs and PLCs operating across a variety of sectors, outside of finance, these have included telecoms, infrastructure and property.
Having been involved in raising finance to support business growth and large scale infrastructure projects, Norm's experience includes raising seed capital for startups, securing expansion capital to the value of £60m for a Netherlands-based Internet Service Provider and the development capital for large-scale infrastructure projects. .
An Approved Person with the Financial Conduct Authority and completing the Oxford Private Equity Programme at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Norm's knowledge of the investment landscape - both in terms of raising investment and making investment - is considerable.
Mark, as the Director General of EISA, leads the strategic direction of the Enterprise Investment Scheme's trade body and is responsible for raising awareness of the EIS through education and knowledge sharing.
Having been in the role for over 18 months, Mark brings with him an extensive amount of experience in the industry, spending over 10 years at Mazars as their Head of Research & Development, working at Grant Thornton prior, and being a respected Non Executive Director at Tax Efficient Procurement Services (TEPS).
A Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, a Chartered Financial Planner and a Chartered Wealth Manager, Mark can offer invaluable insights into the EIS, particularly from an investing point of view.
2. In-depth answers to intricate EIS questions
We talk regularly about the EIS tax reliefs available to investors and our investment team are always happy to discuss the process of an investee looking to raise funds via the EIS. Our website has a wealth of information available, and our investors's guide to the EIS provides a useful insight into all aspects of the scheme (and our webinar on tax efficient investing provides a really beneficial insight into the tax reliefs available via the EIS, SEIS and VCTs).
But in this webinar, we want to go further into the scheme and look at a number of specific points on a more in-depth level, gaining informative insights from Norm and Mark.
For example, I'm personally looking forward to hearing Norm and Mark's opinion on why the EIS has seen greater levels of investment and deal numbers in recent times, considerably increased on the 10 or 15 years prior. Is it due to greater education and awareness of the scheme, or is there another contributing factor?
Similarly, what are Norm and Mark's thoughts on the future of the EIS - will these increased investment and deal numbers continue to increase? - something that leads us perfectly onto the third point.
3. A look at what the recent changes to the Finance Bill may mean for EIS
Last week the 2017/18 Finance Bill was passed in the House of Lords, and this Thursday it's scheduled to receive Royal Assent.
Whilst the specific details are still emerging, the overall focus is that via a new 'risk to capital' condition, investors must be investing into opportunities where "there is a significant risk that there could be a loss of capital to the investor of an amount greater than the net return."
What this can generally be interpreted as is - as was highlighted in last year's Autumn Budget - investors must be investing first and foremost to support the growth of the business being invested into and not for capital preservation (i.e., investing in opportunities that carry little risk, largely for the tax reliefs).
Undoubtedly an interesting topic, Norm's and Mark's insights into what the future of the EIS might hold as a result of the Bill are much anticipated.
4. The ability to ask specific questions you want to hear views on
In every webinar session we host, we allow time for a live Q&A, which offers you an opportunity to ask questions on the topic that may not have otherwise been covered.
Always an interesting part of the webinar, we try and answer as many questions as possible. However, we do try and keep the webinars to 30 minutes, so any questions that aren't answered will always be followed up directly after the webinar.
With the webinar scheduled to take place at 2pm (GMT) on Wednesday 28th March, if you can't make it live, do still register - the on-demand version of the session will be emailed directly to all registrants immediately after the live webinar has finished.