Professional body option for BVCA

The British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is considering the option of becoming a professional body, setting its own exams and granting individual memberships. Chairman Edmund Truell announced the plans in his speech at the BVCA’s annual dinner. “We are looking to move the BVCA towards being a professional body. It will take time, but it is a worthwhile goal,” he said.

Chief executive, John Mackie said that the issue is presently still under discussion. “Historically, the BVCA has been made up of member firms. The association has considered whether it perhaps needs to be an association of individual members rather than member companies,” he said. He added that the decision is simply a reflection on the way the UK market is developing, rather than any effort to improve the activity of the BVCA. “If it does go ahead, it would be in response to the changed regulatory environment,” he said. Truell supported this in his speech stating that on the regulatory front, the UK now has a regime far better for the private equity industry than that proposed two years ago by the government and the FSA.

As far as other venture capital associations in Europe are concerned, Mackie says the issue of becoming a professional body will probably arise as regulatory changes come into effect into the relevant countries. Holger Frommann of the German venture capital association, BVK said it was not a move that had been considered in Germany. “I think that there is so much work to be done regarding regulations in the German market that we will not be changing the status of the association at the moment,” he said. A spokesperson for the EVCA also said that it was not an issue that had been discussed within the organisation.