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How Octopus is responding to coronavirus

17 Mar 2020

Below we set out some of the ways Octopus is responding to ensure that our business continues to run as smoothly as possible.

We hope you find the information below useful. If you have any questions, we’d be delighted to help.

We remain open for business and here to answer your calls and emails.

You can call us on 0 800 316 2295 or email [email protected].

How Octopus has been preparing

We’ve had a team of people planning mitigation actions for the impact of the virus for the last few weeks. Part of our preparation has been to have every team in our business work from home for a few days over the last fortnight, and we are now working at home across the business. Our customers and partners remain our top priority, you can read more on our business continuity plans.

Impact on investments

Recent weeks have been a reminder that investments put capital at risk. As always, keep in mind that the value of our investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest.

The summary below covers our largest retail products, but if you have any questions, we’d be delighted to help. You can call us on 0 800 316 2295 or email [email protected]

Before you read the summary below, remember that tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and could change in the future.

Tax reliefs depend on portfolio companies and VCTs maintaining their qualifying status.

And the shares of smaller companies and VCT shares could fall or rise in value more than other shares listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. They may also be harder to sell.

Octopus Titan VCT

Unlike most investments, VCTs qualify for generous tax reliefs that are designed to offset some of the investment risk, including 30% income tax relief on the amount invested, and tax-free dividends.

Octopus Titan VCT has so far raised £105 million this year, and expects to allot shares regularly until tax year end, subject to capacity which is filling fast.

One of the big benefits of investing into companies not quoted on a stock market, especially early-stage ones, is that they’re relatively uncorrelated to the short-term swings in value that impact quoted companies. The other benefit of Octopus Titan VCT is that by virtue of its size and longevity, it is invested across an established, diversified portfolio of more than 75 companies, at various stages of their growth journey and operating across a variety of sectors.

Octopus Inheritance Tax Service

The Octopus Inheritance Tax Service invests in companies that qualify for Business Property Relief (BPR). This means the investment can be left free from inheritance tax upon the death of the shareholder, after it has been owned for just two years.

The service invests into the shares of one or more unquoted companies. An example is Fern Trading Limited, which remains focused on targeting predictable, modest growth for investors through all market cycles.

We have been managing this product for over 12 years, throughout which time it has consistently delivered against this target for shareholders. This is down to Fern’s carefully diversified business model, investing across sectors of the economy that are fundamental to people’s daily lives such as energy generation and healthcare.

And because Fern is an unquoted company, its valuation is less susceptible to short-term movements in market sentiment than quoted companies.

Octopus AIM inheritance tax portfolios

The Alternative Investment Market (AIM), as with all stock markets, has seen very large moves over the last few weeks.

However, we invest based on business fundamentals. We meet over 400 AIM-listed companies every year (and have done for more than a decade). We know the businesses and management teams well, and we remain confident in the long-term prospects of these companies.

Get in touch if you have any queries

We’ll be working flat out over the next few weeks to minimise the impact on you. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, you can call us on 0 800 316 2295 or email [email protected].

We’ve also included the email addresses for four senior members of the Octopus Investments team. If you contact any one of them, they will get back to you within 24 hours (even at the weekend). 

Jonathan Digges (Chief Investment Officer)[email protected]. Jonathan is the best person to contact for any investment queries or challenges.  

Charlie Taylor (Head of Octopus Choice and Octopus Cash, Octopus Investments)[email protected]. Charlie is the best person to contact for any queries about Octopus Choice and Octopus Cash.

Ruth Handcock (CEO, Octopus Investments)[email protected]. Ruth is the best person to contact for any operational queries or challenges.

Simon Rogerson (Founder)[email protected]. Feel free to copy in Simon, or contact him directly, about anything.

Please remember

VCTs are not suitable for everyone. We recommend investors seek professional advice before deciding to invest. We do not offer investment or tax advice. This advertisement is not a prospectus. Investors should only subscribe for shares based on information in the prospectus and Key Information Document (KID), which can be obtained from this website.