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EISA Awards 2016 – Wednesday 1st February 2017

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, individuals and journalists that achieved outstanding performance in the context of the EIS/SEIS schemes during 2016.

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

The winners of this year’s awards and those highly commended by the judges are listed below. Additional feedback for those entries not shortlisted will be sent to individual entrants.

Best EIS Fund Manager/Sponsor – sponsored by Edwin Coe

Judges’ comments “When it came to deciding the winner, the judges were absolutely evenly split between 2 companies.  In the end we felt that we had no alternative but to have joint winners in this category”. About joint winner No 1, the judges said:

Parkwalk embody the essence of the true principles of EIS, and their work with the UK’s top universities to invest in knowledge intensive, early stage technology is quite simply transformational. They are a company that backed 36 financing rounds in 2016, deploying £40 million of EIS funds.

“The second winner  Calculus is a company that has a unique and exclusive deal flow, carries out detailed due diligence on all its investments, and provides a high level of support to each of its portfolio companies. They are very proactive in promoting the industry, and capped 2016 with 3 profitable exits”.

Pictured on left Robert Davis with Madeleine Ingram of Calculus Capital, In the middle Victor Hawrych of Edwin Coe with Enrico D’Angelo of Parkwalk on the right.

Highly Commended: MMC Ventures

Best SEIS Fund Manager/Sponsor – sponsored by Kuber Ventures

Winner: Symvan

Pictured Nicholas Nicolaides on the left and Spencer Krett in the middle both of Symvan Capital with Dermot Campbell of Kuber Ventures


The judges praised the company for their due diligence, their selection process and speed of investment. They also liked the clarity of their communications, and the effort that they have made to demonstrate the benefits of their investment, not just in value, but in job creation and the tax revenues raised as well.

Highly Commended: Mercia Fund Management
Highly Commended: Deepbridge Capital

Best EIS/SEIS Tax Adviser – sponsored by Downing

Winner: Philip Hare & Associates

Pictured Philip Hare of Philip Hare & Associates on the left with Nick Lewis of Downing

Philip Hare & Associates was praised by the judges for breadth of support that they have been giving, for both EIS and Seed EIS. They were particularly impressed by the examples given of how they tackled some challenging issues with HMRC on behalf of their clients.

Highly Commended: Chiene & Tait

Highly Commended: Sapphire Capital Partners

Both of these companies were complimented by the judges for their work in regions of the UK, in both Ireland and Scotland.

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

Winner: Bovill

Pictured on left Richard Cross of Bovill with John Glencross of Calculus Capital

Bovill was particularly praised by the judges for their work in helping new entrants to the market, and the lead that they have taken in helping EIS firms with their preparation for MIFID 11. They have also been active in thought leadership, and promoting the industry, both through educational seminars and in the press.

Highly Commended: RW Blears

Highly Commended: Shoosmiths

Best EIS Investment Exit – sponsored by Mainspring Fund Services

Winner: Parkwalk Advisors

Pictured on left Enrico D’Angelo of Parkwalk Advisors with Stephen Geddes of Mainspring Fund Managers

The judges described the investment as a shining example of collaboration, between Cambridge University and venture capital, where the interests of the university, founders and shareholders were aligned, and where clear objectives were set.  With a return over a period of 3 years and 10 months, one judge said: ‘If there were text book exits for EIS then this would certainly be one’

Highly Commended: Guinness Asset Management

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

Winner: Sapphire Capital Partners

Pictured Boyd Carson of Sapphire Capital Partners with Pippa Brown of Reyker

For the winner the judges liked the new ‘Do it Yourself’ option offered to entrepreneurs wanting to apply for Advanced Assurance. By helping to keep the costs down at this early stage, it is designed to make EIS accessible to a wider range of companies.

Highly Commended: Growthdeck

Highly Commended: Kuber Ventures

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

Winner: Vasiliki Carson, Sapphire Capital

Pictured on left Boyd Carson of Sapphire Capital Partners accepting the award on behalf of Vasiliki Carson with Clive Morris of Deal Partners

Vasiliki has worked tirelessly to communicate and educate about the benefits of EIS across a range of media, including writing 7 e-books, blogging and other articles. She also speaks regularly on the subject.

Highly Commended: James Sore, Syndicate Room

Highly Commended: Tom Bradley, Oxford Capital

Best EIS/SEIS Journalist, sponsored by Hardman & Co

This is a new award. At EISA we recognise that there is still a long way to go in both informing and educating people about EIS and the benefits it offers. Benefits not just to investors, but to companies and the wider economy through jobs, tax revenues and other social benefits. Journalists are key influencers in this and so it seems only right to recognise a journalist that is helping us to achieve this goal.

This award was judged by the PR agency of EISA, Bulletin, who reviewed what has been written on EIS across 2016.

Winner: Emily Perryman

Pictured Emily Perryman with Keith Hiscock of Hardman & Co

Judges’ comments “Emily’s writing has demonstrated a rich knowledge of the issues surrounding Enterprise Investment Schemes and an ability to communicate sophisticated ideas with admirable clarity. In-depth features in the Financial Times and Shares Magazine have helped raise the profile of EIS with countless private and professional investors, helping them gain a better understanding of tax-efficient investments. Her knowledge of EIS combined with her balanced and thoughtful approach makes her a deserving winner of the inaugural Enterprise Investment Scheme Association Award for Journalism”

All photos ©Stevie Thomas/TheAmalgamate(s)

Pictured below are those who were Highly Commended:

Photograph 1 – on the left Jon Coker of MMC with Victor Hawrych of Edwin Coe on the right.
Photograph 2 – on the left Paul Mattick of Mercia Fund Management, in the middle Kieran O’Gorman of Deepbridge Capital with Dermot Campbell of Kuber Ventures on the right.
Photograph 3 – on the left Boyd Carson of Sapphire Capital Partners, in the middle Nick Lewis of Downing and  Neil Norman of Chiene & Tait on the right.
Photograph 4 – on the left Tom Wilde of Shoosmiths, in the middle John Glencross of Calculus Capital with Frank Daly of RW Blears on the right.
Photograph 5 – on the left Shane Gallwey of Guinness Asset Management with Stephen Geddes of Mainspring Fund Managers on the right.
Photograph 6 – on the left Dermot Campbell of Kuber Ventures with Pippa Brown of Reyker and Andrew Hodson of Growthdeck on the right.
Photograph 7-  on the left Tom Bradley of Oxford Capital, in the middle Clive Morris of Deal Partners with James Sore of Syndicate Room on the right.



The membership would like to thank Lord Howard Flight for his outstanding work on behalf of the EIS Association.


To everyone who contributed to this superb evening and for the support of the board, committees and membership throughout the year. We would like to thank the sponsors of the EISA Awards: Calculus Capital, Deal Partners, Downing, Edwin Coe, Hardman & Co, Kuber Ventures, Mainspring Fund Services and Reyker; the members who host events for the EISA – Charles Russell Speechlys, who host the London Autumn Technical Seminar and PwC who host the London Spring Technical Seminar and the Birmingham Autumn Seminar; Sapphire who host the Belfast Seminar; Martin Fox for organising the award judging process. We would also like to thank Bovill, who provide office space for EISA. If any members would like to organise events with the support of EISA please contact Member Services on info@eisa.org.uk.