At Clifton we have championed the use of pension-led funding for more than 20 years and (with a fair amount of own-trumpet-blowing) we have pioneered the understanding and use of intellectual property to facilitate this form of corporate finance.
For the past year or more the Government has slowly come to the realisation that the banking system, saved at great expense by the British taxpayer, has been failing the business sector in general and the SME sector in particular.
Dr Cable at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has been pushing several initiatives to get funding into British business and has so far met with patchy success. However, this push by the Government has revealed what we (more trumpets please) already know and have been banging on about for years – that much of the value in UK companies is simply hidden from view, as it lives in the intangible assets of the business, such as intellectual property.
And so the Intellectual Property Office, spurred on by the growing acceptance that this IP value is not being properly utilised, has published an extremely important piece of work Banking on IP? (The role of intellectual property and intangible assets in facilitating business finance).
(Trumpets out again) I was privileged to be consulted during the preparation of the report and was quoted with respect to the way that, uniquely in corporate funding, pension-led funding works extremely well with intellectual property.
As the report explains: “One company which has made considerable use of pension-led funding to finance businesses is Clifton Asset Management…”
We all understand that things take time in politics, but the good news for UK Business is that in this respect things do seem to be gaining momentum.
[custom_headline class=”man” level=”h3″ looks_like=”h4″]Key Recommendations[/custom_headline]
The key recommendations of the report include the design and assembly of a resource toolkit and supporting services. When integrated, these will:
- help old and new economy businesses identify and communicate their IP and its relationship to cash flows
- help companies and lenders understand the business value of IP
- improve efficiency in due diligence on IP assets
- improve practice in obtaining reasonable and effective charges over IP
- make room for development of more effective IP markets, supported by a better information infrastructure
- enable risk to be reduced through insurance and other mechanisms
All good stuff!