By Andrew Holt
The Battle Against Cancer Investment Trust (Bacit) is aiming to raise £500 million by floating on the London Stock Exchange and generate millions each year for research into cancer treatments.
The fund will waive fees to investors. BACIT founder Tom Henderson, formerly of Cazenove, whose father was the former chairman of the ICR and London’s Royal Marsden Hospital, said: "For many years I have wanted to combine my background in fund management with supporting the incredible work of the Institute of Cancer Research."
The fund is backed by City financiers such as private equity veteran Jon Moulton, the founder of Alchemy Partners, who will sit on the BACIT board.
It will also include Moore Capital’s Greg Coffey, and Jamie Ritblat, of the UK’s property dynasty.
Investors will be able to buy shares in Bacit, which will allocate the proceeds with 28 fund managers including BlackRock, Polygon, Permira, Delancey, Majedie, Armajaro and Henderson.
Backers highlight the fund is targeting good returns for shareholders, which will help charitable donations on an annual basis.
The fund aims to make investors returns of between annual 10 and 15 per cent.
The absence in fees will offer investors an advantage over other funds.
Half of all the proceeds will automatically go to the Institute of Cancer Research, one of the world’s leading cancer drug laboratories, and the remainder will be allocated to charities chosen from a list by shareholders themselves.
While often significant, philanthropic generosity from London’s financiers has largely failed to overturn negative public perceptions of the City since the financial crisis.
While Bacit may help soften some attitudes, the fund’s backers insist public relations is not the motivation.
Henderson added: “The beauty of what this will do is that it will provide a recurring, perpetual income. It will allow the Institute of Cancer Research to plan.”
Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, said: “We have discovered more genes that are at risk of cancer than any other organisation in the world, but we are severely limited at the moment by money in what we can develop.”
BACIT, is being advised by JP Morgan, who said it is prepared to list 500 million shares, depending on the amount of interest.
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