Frequently asked questions
We want to answer the questions that matter to you. A selection of those most frequently asked is listed below. Still unsure? Contact us through this website and we will provide you with a written response.
It is widely accepted that, when held for medium and long term, investments in small companies have greater potential for significant capital appreciation than investments in large companies. At the same time, an investment in a small company carries a higher level of risk than an investment in a large company. Through various pieces of legislation, VCTs are required to channel funding to very small companies through the purchase of newly issued shares by the company. This further elevates the risk. To compensate investors for this additional risk, the Government incentivises VCT investors through a series of attractive tax reliefs. Therefore, an established VCT provides the following benefits:
- Immediate access to a portfolio of investments in small companies
- The potential for significant capital appreciation.
Diversity of opportunity. AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s equity market for smaller, growing businesses, is home to over 1000 companies operating in more than 100 countries in 42 different sectors. The diverse population of AIM companies presents an additional, attractive choice to investors.
Growth opportunities. The younger, dynamic businesses on AIM often operate in new and emerging sectors and provide an exciting opportunity for investors to participate in growth stories and support their development over the medium to longer term.
Gains and Income. AIM is also home to larger, more mature businesses that present a saving opportunity for the short or long term – as well as equity income potential.
You can calculate the value of your holding in a VCT by multiplying the number of shares you hold by the mid-price of the shares.
The mid-price of the shares can be found on this website by selecting the following link: Hargreave Hale AIM VCT plc.
The share price is also available through the London Stock Exchange's website.
Once on the London Stock Exchange's website, look for the section 'Search For Companies & Prices'. In box 'Name/code', type in HHV (Hargreave Hale AIM VCT plc). Selecting 'Hargreave Hale AIM VCT plc' will take you through to a page which gives the share price in the top left corner.
The shares in the VCT are tradeable through the London Stock Exchange, like any other investment trust. Although the VCT operates a share buy back policy, you will need to sell your shares at arm's length (to the VCT) to ensure the capital gains tax exemption is not invalidated. This is best effected through a stockbroker, who can sell your shares through the market. Before selling your shares, you must ensure you can deliver the stock to settle the transaction.
Settlement can be done one of two ways:
(1) Electronic settlement through CREST. If you intend to deliver the stock electronically, then please ensure your shares are lodged in a CREST account with your nominee company. This is often referred to as dematerialised. Settlement through CREST can be done in 2 business days.
(2) Physical delivery of the share certificate. If you intend to settle via physical delivery, then please ensure you have not lost your share certificates before executing the sale. You will need to send your share certificate and a completed stock transfer form to your stockbroker. Certificated sales can be settled in 10 business days.
If you do not already have an account with a stockbroker, Hargreave Hale Limited has a private client stockbroking service that can support the sale process.
If a share certificate has been lost, stolen or destroyed, you should notify Equiniti by phone or in writing. Equiniti will then place a restriction on the certificate(s) to prevent these from being used fraudulently. You'll need to tell them about any certificates you still hold so they can identify which share certificate(s) is/are missing.
Equiniti will issue a Letter of Indemnity which you will need to have countersigned by your bank. The Letter of Indemnity process is required to minimise potential financial loss caused by any misuse of the original certificate(s) and indemnifies the VCT against this risk. Countersignature and administration are key components of the Letter of Indemnity service. Equniti will send a duplicate certificate through the post to your registered address once they have received the completed Letter of Indemnity. You should expect the process to take 2-3 weeks. If you would prefer not to use your bank as the countersignatory, you can make use of Equiniti's countersignature service.
The registrar will require an administration fee of approximately £45 whilst the bank will levy a fee to reflect the risk that comes with indemnifying the VCT against the lost share certificate. The countersignature fee varies according to the value of the lost share certificates, but will typically range from £50 to £250.
If you are a sole shareholder based in the UK you may be entitled to use Equiniti's Telephone Express Service to obtain a new certificate. You will require a UK debit card, and all calls will be recorded. If you are unable to use the Telephone Express Service, you will need to complete and return to Equiniti the Letter of Indemnity form as described above.
You can contact Equiniti via phone on 0871 384 2030. Please select the lost certificate option on their Shareholder Helpline. Alternatively, you can write to Equiniti at:
Our registrar Equiniti is responsible for maintaining the share register, which includes your address. It's important that you notify Equiniti of your change of address, ideally before you move house, since they process the physical distribution of dividend cheques. We also use their database when distributing the reports and accounts and other shareholder communications.
Equinti will require written notification of your change of address, including:
- Instruction from and original signature of the first named shareholder or legal representative
- Name(s) of shareholder(s)
- The previous and new address; a shareholder can choose any address to which their shareholding(s) is/are to be registered
- Name of the company in which the shares are held
- Shareholder reference for that shareholding (this can be found on the share certificate, share statement or on any previous correspondence we have sent you).
You should send your notification to:
Equiniti will process your change of address request within 5 days of the receipt of your letter. They do not always acknowledge a change of address request.
We value our VCT at the close of each week and/or at month end. We publish the net asset value through a regulatory information service provider. This is usually done on the business day following the valuation date, although it occasionally takes a day longer at financial year end or have some other corporate action taking place.
During fundraising periods, we allot shares at least monthly. Allotments can be more frequent in the run up to the close of an early bird offer or as we approach the tax year end.
The registrar will send out your share certificates whilst Hargreave Hale will send out your tax certificate. Both should occur within 15 days of allotment.
Equiniti is the registrar for the VCT. Their contact details are:
Tel: 0371 384 2030
Although subject to change, the VCT dividend payments are generally as follows:
Hargreave Hale AIM VCT
Interim Dividend: July
Final Dividend: January
Please note that dividend payments will vary with investment performance. The ability to pay dividends is also dependent on the VCT's available reserves and cash resources, the Companies Act 2006 (as amended) and the listing rules. The dividend policy is non-binding and at the discretion of the VCT Boards. Dividend payments may vary from year to year in both quantum and timing. In good years, the Directors may consider a higher dividend payment; in poor years, the Directors may reduce or even pay no dividend.
We do not run a dividend re-investment programme. You can re-invest your dividend income into new VCT shares by subscribing for new shares through an offer.
The 5 year minimum holding period falls away upon death. Therefore, VCT shares can be passed to beneficiaries free of any obligation to repay the 30% income tax relief. The VCT shares will remain exempt from capital gains tax upon eventual disposal and any income derived from the VCT will remain exempt from dividend tax.