The EIS Association Awards denote excellence in a number of EIS/SEIS fields. The Awards were presented at the House of Lords to firms, advisers, companies and individuals that achieved outstanding performance in the context of the EIS/SEIS schemes during 2015. This year attracted a record number of high-calibre entrants.

The members of the independent judging panel for the Awards were:

  • Lord Taylor of Warwick – former Special Adviser to the Home Secretary
  • Mark Brownridge – Mazars, Head of Financial Planning Research & Development
  • Declan McAndrew CFA – Foster Denovo, Head of Investment Research
  • Lee Moran – Baigrie Davies, Chair of the Investment Committee & Head of Research
  • Neeta Patel – New Entrepreneurs Foundation, CEO
  • Dr Norman Price OBE – former  DTI Innovation Adviser on Finance & Investment
  • Martin Fox – Bulletin Marketing, Managing Director
  • Sarah Wadham –  The EIS Association, Director General

Sarah Wadham, Director General of the EIS Association, said: “The record number and high calibre of entrants for our Awards demonstrate the growing importance of EIS and SEIS investment in funding exciting early stage companies that are so vital in creating jobs and growth in the UK economy.”

The winners of this year’s awards and those highly commended by the judges are listed below.

Best EIS Fund Manager/Sponsor – sponsored by Edwin Coe

Winner: Calculus Capital

Judges’ comment: “Calculus Capital is a shining example of a company engaging with the industry and promoting the sector in an innovative and thoughtful way. Clarity of communication to both adviser and the end investor is outstanding. Through its investments hundreds of jobs have been created and genuine growth created. Calculus continues to be the benchmark for the EIS industry to meet and beat.”

Highly Commended: MMC Ventures

Highly commended: Parkwalk Advisor

Best SEIS Fund Manager/Sponsor – sponsored by Kuber Ventures

Winner: Symvan

Judges’ comment: “The level of due diligence and research they undertake on potential investee companies is impressive and gives advisers and investors alike great confidence in their investment.

Investor communication also appears to be excellent with regular investor meetings and updates, all of which offer a glimpse into the inner workings of the SEIS which few funds can match.”

Highly Commended: Daedalus

Best EIS/SEIS Tax Adviser – sponsored by Oxford Capital

Winner: Philip Hare & Associates

Judges’ comment: “A great submission which demonstrates how a relatively small firm can still advise a broad range of clients. The quality of their work was demonstrated clearly and the judges particularly liked the use of examples, which showed the impact of their work.”

Highly Commended: Chiene & Tait

Highly Commended: PwC

Best EIS/SEIS Legal or Regulatory Adviser – sponsored by Calculus Capital

Winner: Charles Russell Speechlys

Judges’ comment: “The judges liked the creation of a cross-departmental EIS Group within the firm, with the goal of promoting EIS within the firm and to clients. This has led to the firm actively promoting EIS to their clients and highlighting the benefits of doing so. They have also been very active in providing speakers to help promote the EIS industry. One of the judges wrote: ‘They epitomise the ethos needed to help continue to grow awareness of the EIS industry.’ ”

Highly Commended: Bovill

Highly Commended:  RW Blears

Best EIS Investment Exit – sponsored by Downing

Winner: Oakfield Capital Partners for Coryton Advanced Fuels

Judges’ comment: “An impressive return of 8.4x over a relatively short holding period of five years. This is a true EIS good news story, bringing back into use a site and employing 26 people at a business that had been mothballed and left for dead, using money from EIS that would not otherwise have been available.”

Highly commended: Acceleris for Redx Pharma

Highly commended: Parkwalk for Xeros

Best Innovation, Newcomer or Rising Star in EIS/SEIS – Company – sponsored by Mainspring

Winner: Intelligent Crowd TV for ‘The Seed & EIS Hour’.

Judges’ comment: “A genuinely new concept, designed to make EIS and Seed EIS more accessible to a wider audience. Since they launched in October last year, they have already showcased 16 companies, and also aim to educate their audience.”

Highly CommendedCrowdrating from Wheatfromchaff

Highly Commended: MICAP

Best Innovation, Newcomer or Rising Star in EIS/SEIS – Individual – sponsored by Deal Partners

Winner: Boyd Carson, Sapphire Capital

Judges’ comment: “The winner has had a busy year, pushing the boundaries with new products, writing and publishing books on EIS, regularly speaking at events, and even promoting EIS in America. The winner seems to have EIS in his DNA.”

Highly commended: David Newman, Compare Investments Dot Guru

Highly commended: Patricia Reynolds, Arterial Capital Management

All photos ©Stevie Thomas/TheAmalgamate(s)