In this series we look at applications that won people a role, and break down what made them so effective. This candidate offered not only a wealth of very relevant and specific experience, but also a clear sense of how they would complement the current board.

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT is a venture capital trust listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has a market capitalisation of approximately £140m. The company invests in companies which are qualifying investments under the VCT rules. These are primarily traded on the AIM market but investments will also be made in private companies. The board were seeking a Non-Executive Director who would bring diversity and a proven track record of investing in early stage, high growth UK businesses.

Commercial board experience
The successful candidate will have experience of working at board level, preferably for a regulated financial services entity.Please evidence your experience, including roles, companies and dates.

Company A Limited, 2016 - current: Non executive director, chair of risk committee, member of audit committee. Entity wholly owned by the Company A group and regulated by the FCA. Company B Limited, 2017-2019: Non executive chair of the board of this asset management company, regulated by the FCA. Company C, 2013 - current: Governor, member of nomco and cancer board.

Regulatory understanding
The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of the regulatory background relevant to investment trusts and / or VCTs gained from any of a range of roles including fund management, audit, compliance or non-executive directorships. Please describe your experience including roles, companies and dates.

Keen knowledge of regulatory background gained from being a lawyer and NED in this sector. Company D, legal counse,l 1997-2000: Fund and asset management company structuring, in-house counsel for fund administration company. Company A Limited, 2016 - current: Non executive director, chair of risk committee which oversees all regulatory and compliance matters, member of the audit committee which oversees audit and internal audit matters.

Investment process
The ideal candidate will have an understanding of the requirements needed to successfully invest in unquoted (including early stage) UK businesses through equity, preferred equity or convertible loan notes. Please describe your experience including roles, companies and dates.

Relevant understanding gained as a mainstream corporate lawyer handling mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, early stage funding, bank loans for a variety of businesses at varying stages of development including unquoted - at Company E (1993-96) and Company F (1996-97) as a solicitor. First-hand knowledge as an investor and director of Company G Limited 2012-2017, a start-up healthcare technology company.

Audit or risk committee experience
Experience of sitting on an audit or risk committee would be welcomed. The ideal candidate may be a former CFO / qualified account. Please describe your experience including roles, companies and dates.

I chair the risk committee at Company A Limited (2016 - current) and I'm a member of the audit committee. At Company B (2017-19) we did not have a separate audit or risk committee so I directly chaired oversight of all audit and risk matters within the board proceedings.

Covering letter

I'm particularly keen on this opportunity because it is a venture capital investment trust focusing on the interim stages of business development. I would very much like to offer the experience I have gained in various executive roles, as a corporate, banking and funds lawyer and in sales and consulting with both institutional investors and listed corporate entities while working in investment banking.

As an experienced NED I contribute to the board responsibility towards stakeholders and bring independent judgement to all matters raised and supervised at board level. I have keen regard for risks associated with outsourcing to service providers.

I believe I would enhance the board's skills, experience, expertise and knowledge because mine are quite different from that of the current board members. Fund management and accountancy appears well-covered by the existing board and I would bring a different viewpoint both as a lawyer and with my additional background in equities (public and private sides), sales, consultancy and as an early stage business owner.

I bring a solid understanding of governance in a variety of sectors which helps me to contribute to the development as well as the maintenance of good corporate governance. In my current and previous roles I can demonstrate contributions to strategy formulation, competitive positioning, assessment of risk and control analysis.

Joining the board of an investment trust would not conflict with any of my other roles and I can meet the time commitment specified. It would be an honour to join Hargreave Hale and I very much hope that the nominations committee will give me the opportunity to explore with them how my offering might complement the board’s effectiveness.

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