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Jeremy Hunt has caught the white whale of UK growth policy with pension deal

pension funds startups
Image credit: Kirsty O'Connor/HM Treasury

For too long the allocation of pension fund investments into UK startups has been the Moby Dick of British growth policy. Not capturing the gains that this white whale could bring hasn’t just hurt startups, it’s hurt savers too.

The pension funds of Canadian teachers have profited more from the success of Silicon Roundabout than our pensioners — or indeed most startup employees themselves.

Thankfully, the obsession of those in the tech ecosystem has been increasingly shared by those in government. The Mansion House speech, which outlined a £75bn boost from pension funds for UK startups, reassures us that far from being lost at sea, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has reeled in a whopping deal.

The reasons for the movement from all parties involved are clear. It’s not just missed investment opportunities in UK firms that have left a bad taste. Risk aversion in the pensions industry has meant stale returns too. The British Business Bank found that the average 22-year-old could boost their total retirement savings by 7% to 12% with a 5% allocation of their fund to venture capital....

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