John Glencross has been at the forefront of the EIS and VCT world for over two decades, co-launching the first approved EIS fund in 1999. We take advantage of this to get a long-term perspective on how the market and the Calculus investment process has changed over time.
We start at the launch of their first fund, with the challenges of a product that was even less well known that it is now. John tells us how they found an investor base and avoided the worst of the bursting of the internet bubble.
The areas that Calculus invest in have evolved over this period. We discuss how these have changed, and the challenge of choosing areas that will do well over the next few years. We also discuss how economic cycles interact with this, including the financial crisis in 2008 and the more recent pandemic. We also chat about the evolution of the EIS & VCT market, how it has got better and what problems still need addressed.
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John Glencross is the Chief Executive of Calculus Capital. He co-founded Calculus with Susan McDonald in 1999, creating one of the UK’s most successful, independent private equity firms focused on investing in entrepreneurial young British companies. John has over 30 years’ experience in private equity, corporate finance, and operational management. During that time, he has invested in, advised on or negotiated more than 100 transactions and served on publicly quoted and private corporate boards. Before co-founding Calculus, John served as a European Corporate Finance Director at UBS and, prior to this he was Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Phillips and Drew, a 100-year-old London-based financial institution. At the start of his career, John qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Peat Marwick (subsequently KPMG), where he then went on to be recruited as a founder member of Deloitte’s newly established consultancy practice in the Gulf Region and then Corporate Finance practice in London. John graduated from Oxford University with an MA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.