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Lawson Conner Wins EU Passport for VC Funds On the 6th September, Lawson Conner, the investment manager platform, announced that it has been awarded the coveted EuVECA designation, from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). We sat down with Andrew Frost Director, Investment Management Solutions, Lawson Conner, who told us more about the announcement. Founded in 2010, Lawson Conner is an award-winning investment manager platform and a leading provider of outsourced compliance services solutions. The firm helps financial services firms navigate through the complexities of compliance and regulations in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia, using innovative solutions and expert advice, which save time, reduce risk and increase efficiency. Recently, Lawson Conner announced that it had been awarded the coveted EuVECA designation, from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). This designation means that UK venture capital funds that use its platform, can now have unfettered access to Europeanbased investors. The EuVECA regulation allows venture capitalists to market their

funds to investors across the EU through a voluntary EU-wide passport, without having to meet all the demands of the AIFM Directive. To qualify for EUVECA, you need to be a genuine VC firm who are putting 70% investments into SME equity. Taking time to discuss the win is Andrew Frost, Director, Investment Management Solutions at Lawson Conner in London. “At Lawson Conner, we are extremely excited to be one of the very first UK platforms to win a EuVECA designation,” says Frost. “Now, we can help those VC funds that want to market their funds to European investors meet all the necessary compliance obligations, without having to do it in house.” According to Invest Europe, venture capital fund raising grew to a post-crisis record of €6.4 billion in 2016. These VC funds collectively

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invested €4.3 billion in over 3,000 companies. “Taking advantage of the EuVECA designation will allow UK VC funds to tap into a huge pool of institutional capital,” says Frost. Lawson Conner is in the process of helping its VC clients take advantage of its EuVECA designation. Firstminute Capital, a new $85 million VC seed fund has appointed Lawson Conner to act for it. “We aspire to be the most helpful seed fund in Europe,” says Spencer Crawley, Head of Investments and General Partner at firstminute Capital in London. “It is important for us to be able to market our business to European investors quickly. By appointing Lawson Conner, we have saved having to undertake the regulatory process in-house. This means it has been a much speedier and cost-effective process.”

TMT October 2017  
TMT October 2017