9 Mar 2016

Leaving the European Union would damage UK business and the economy according to the business leaders of companies backed by private equity and venture capital.

In a survey of 200 key decision-makers conducted by Ipsos MORI for the BVCA, 83% of business leaders of companies backed by private equity and venture capital believe that remaining in the EU would be best for their business, while 78% feel Brexit would have a negative impact on the overall economy.

Conducted between December 2015 and February 2016, the survey also examined economic confidence and attitudes to private equity and venture capital ownership. There are currently around 3,000 companies in the UK - employing a total of around 490,000 people - backed by private equity and venture capital, making this one of the most comprehensive surveys of its type.

The business leaders surveyed are bullish about their own growth prospects over the coming 12 months, with 84% believing their business will improve over the next year. In particular, 79% expect to create new jobs and 88% anticipate revenue growth, with more than one in three (38%) of those expecting to increase revenues by over 30% in the next 12 months.

Commenting on the economy, 62% of respondents feel economic conditions have improved over the last 12 months, and 49% are confident the economy will continue to improve over the course of the year.

A summary of the report can be found here and the full survey here

Other highlights include
  • 81% of the business leaders interviewed said their business has grown since receiving private equity or venture capital investment, and the majority (87%) feel the investment was important to their growth;

  • The most pressing concerns for respondents were the possibility of the UK leaving the EU and the availability of skilled workers, out of four possible concerns suggested and each rated 7 or more out of 10 by 46% of respondents on a 10-point scale of concern;

  • Over half (53%) believe Brexit will have a negative impact on their company prospects;

  • 60% of business leaders are very or quite optimistic about expanding into new international markets;

  • The majority (91%) would recommend private equity or venture capital investment to other businesses.

Tim Hames, Director General of the BVCA, said: “Private equity and venture capital is all about the companies we back and it was for this reason that we sought the views of the business leaders of our investee companies. It is particularly interesting that such a high proportion support the UK’s continued EU membership.

"It is also very encouraging to see that despite global market turmoil, the vast majority of the companies sampled in this survey are very positive about their growth prospects. This reflects very well on the strength and positioning of venture capital and private equity backed businesses in the UK.”

Notes to editor
  1. For a summary of the report click here. The full survey results can be found here. A total of 200 businesses participated in the research: 93 companies backed by private equity, 67 businesses with venture capital investment and 35 companies backed by both private equity and venture capital.

  2. The research was conducted among business leaders of companies backed by private equity or venture capital. The sample consisted of 97 senior decision makers (e.g. CEO, CFO, COO or similar), 64 Directors, 33 Managing Directors, 4 Company Founders and 2 Senior Vice Presidents.

  3. Fieldwork was completed in two phases: before Christmas (1 December to 16 December 2015) and after Christmas (16 January to 5 February 2016). The survey was conducted by telephone and no weighting was applied.

  4. The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is the industry body for the UK private equity and venture capital industry. The BVCA has over 600 member firms, representing the vast majority of UK-based private equity and venture capital firms and their advisers.

  5. The Ipsos MORI Reputation Centre provides corporate clients and not-for-profit organisations with highly customised research that allows them to manage and build their reputation, plan, manage, and improve strategic and crisis communications, better understand their employees and audiences, and oversee stakeholder relations.

Further information


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