Horlick to star in new film fund

City "superwoman" Nicola Horlick is the kind of person whose life reads like a film script, so Bramdean Asset Management's decision to launch a film development fund for private investors seems a natural step.

Derby Street Films plans to raise £2m from investors, and its investment committee has the enviable task of selecting up to 25 movie scripts or books to work up with a clutch of screen writers and producers. Ms Horlick, who is chief executive of the new vehicle, hopes to sell on at least 15 to major film producers at a profit.

"When the movie gets made, we get paid," she told the IC. "Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in the movie making industry. It used to be 80 per cent big studios, and 20 per cent independents, but now its the other way around, with the big studios effectively acting as the distributor. But the independents are not well-financed, and lack the money to develop new ideas."

A limited company, Derby Street Films has received preliminary approval from HMRC to operate as an (EIS). Bramdean's projections predict that by year three, the fund should be able to return 135p for every pound invested, plus the 20p tax clawback (EIS funds are subject to 20 per cent income tax relief). Popular with wealthy investors, EIS funds are not subject to capital gains tax or inheritance tax either.

The first fund opens next week, with a minimum investment of £25,000. Derby Street plans to launch one EIS compliant fund every year for the next three years, each of which will target five successful projects. "This is absolutely not a tax driven fund, it's driven by a need in the film industry," Horlick adds.

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