The UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), a new name for the national trade association to promote so-called ‘angel investment’ from affluent individuals, has been launched with Sir Nigel Rudd as its chairman.
According to the UKBAA, which will supersede the British Business Angels Association established in 2004, there are an estimated 18,000 ‘angels’ in the UK, investing nearly £1bn (US$1.56bn) annually in start-ups and early stage companies. This number is growing every year as angels become an increasingly significant source of funding and support for the UK economy.
It adds that angel investing has both expanded and changed in recent years, and the newly strengthened organisation will reflect these developments. The UKBAA also has the backing of key players in the business finance marketplace, including the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the £2.5bn Business Growth Fund (BGF), as well as Capital for Enterprise (CFE), innovations investor NESTA and Lloyds TSB Commercial.
Angel investing has been considerably reinforced under the UK’s coalition government, which took office in May 2010; first through increasing the tax breaks under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to 30%, and further by the introduction of a new 50% tax break under the Seed Enterprise Investment scheme (SEIS), with one-off capital gains tax relief for 2012-13. The government has also backed a new £50m angel co-fund managed by CFE and funded under the regional growth fund, designed to leverage angel investment and encourage syndication, offering between £100 and £1m alongside syndicated angel deals.
The UKBAA’s chairman, Sir Nigel Rudd, was founder of Williams in 1982, a major UK industrial holding company until its demerger in November 2000 created Chubb and Kidde. He is current chairman of BGF, airports operator BAA and technology company Invensys. Rudd served as a director of Barclays for 13 years, latterly as deputy chairman, and is also an active angel investor.
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