By Drazen Jorgic | 10:08:29 | 06 April 2009

Healthcare venture capital specialist Longbow Capital has launched the first-ever venture fund specifically designed for self-invested personal pension (Sipp) holders.

The Longbow Sipp Venture fund, which the group said is the first venture fund for Sipp holders, will give holders the opportunity to invest in a professionally managed venture fund. Axa Winterthur Wealth Management will offer the fund via their new style Sipp – labelled The One From Winterthur – which gives investors access to a range of funds from Winterthur’s Elite fund of funds and Tailored Selection range.

The Longbow Sipp Venture fund’s investment strategy will centre on providing capital and development support for unquoted healthcare companies looking to make commercial success of their innovative designs.

Julian Hickman, a partner at Longbow Capital, said healthcare has not been affected by the recession to the same degree as other sectors and actually offers growth opportunities in the current environment.

He added: ‘Sipps are very flexible but if investors are to make the most of their Sipp’s ability to deliver long term value they must be used to full capability. Investing in alternative investments needs to a key part of any investment strategy, yet until now Sipp investors have had little chance to access a venture fund exclusively designed for Sipps.

‘Longbow’s investment focus is on the defensive sectors of healthcare, life sciences and well-being which we believe sit well with pension investment at the right time. Not only are these sectors less affected by a worsening economic situation, but they are also growth sectors. Innovation in healthcare is being driven by over-burdened health services as they seek better treatments for patients. Longbow’s Sipp fund will invest in this rising tide of creativity.”

The fund, which launches today (April 6) will have quarterly closing dates and minimum subscription of £10 000 and multiples of £1 000 thereafter.

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