Foresight has adopted a regional strategy focusing on a structural gap in private equity funding of UK SMEs with an investment focus under £5m. It does this through a number of different funds including those with institutional investors, Venture Capital Trusts ("VCTs") and EIS schemes. It therefore has to address the demands of both institutional and retail investors whilst also balancing the different mandates of the funds themselves.
Foresight's regional, small cap investment approach has been developed through the Foresight Nottingham Fund LP, the Foresight Regional Investment LP, MEIF ESEM Equity LP, Foresight Scottish Growth Scheme and Foresight East of England Fund, and complements Foresight's long and substantial track record of investing through VCTs. With this approach, the Funds seek to deliver commercial returns to investors alongside socio-economic benefits.
With the exception of investments made by MEIF ESEM Equity LP, all new investments made by Foresight are subject to ESG due diligence before investment and are then assessed annually thereafter. The investments within the MEIF portfolio are subject to various ERDF non-financial targets as monitored by the British Business Bank, the single investor in the fund. These targets include job creation, non-financial advice and the introduction of new goods to the market, particularly those that contribute to a low carbon economy.
Given the nature of the companies in which Foresight invests, it takes into account the relative scale of operations of the investee company. In many cases there are limited governance and reporting structures and, post-investment, Foresight works with the management team to improve these to meet with Foresight's ESG requirements.