The Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) was founded in 1990 by 17 Finnish venture capital investors. Its goals were the further development of the venture capital

and corporate venturing functions in Finland, the creation of a suitable legal and fiscal environment for these activities, as well as the improvement of the network of contacts within the Finnish market and with foreign venture capitalists. Angela Sormani reports

Since its inception FVCA has grown considerably in tandem with the Finnish private equity market, which last year saw an increase both in funds raised and investments made. In 2002 fund raising in Finland reached its highest level ever. Total funds raised by the Finnish private equity and venture capital companies amounted to €779 million, almost double the amount raised in 2001. By the end of 2002, capital under management of the Finnish private equity industry totalled €2,953 million, an increase of six per cent compared with 2001.

Today FVCA has 47 full members, which represent the majority of the private equity houses in Finland. In addition, FVCA has 54 associate members. During the last few years the Finnish private equity market has become more competitive and increasingly international as many Finnish private equity houses, such as CapMan, have expanded their focus to Scandinavian markets. Also some Scandinavian private equity houses have established subsidiaries in Finland.

;The goal of the FVCA is to enhance public confidence in venture capital and private equity and spread information about the industry as a part of established financial markets,” says Riikka Korvenoja of the association. As far as lobbying is concerned the most essential challenge is to accelerate the reform of the national laws which cause a risk of double taxation for foreign investors investing in Finnish private equity funds, she says.

FVCA continues to encourage the national authorities to develop a suitable tax structure for Finnish private equity funds that is transparent to all investors. The current situation renders international investors liable to capital gains tax and withholding taxes in Finland for which they might get no relief. The FVCA aims to get the reform of legislation incorporated into the government platform after parliamentary elections in March 2003.