PE Brexiteers hail ‘new era’ of economic growth

Industry veteran and erstwhile Tory donor Edi Truell called referendum outcome a ‘phenomenal result’.

The decision by UK voters to leave the European Union is a “phenomenal result” for the Leave campaign, said Edi Truell, chairman of Disruptive Capital Finance and founder of mid-market firm Duke Street.

In a statement made following the announcement of the referendum result, in which 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the EU, Truell said the outcome was “amazing”.

“I am so pleased that our Leave team, which often felt so embattled and derided, stuck to our guns and prevailed against the massed ranks of vested interests.”

Truell, a former Conservative party donor who has given more than £270,000 to the party since 2010, told the Times newspaper earlier this month that he would no longer back the Tory party under current prime minister David Cameron, whom he accused of “abusing the machinery of government to support the Remain case”.

In a press conference on the steps of Downing Street this morning, Cameron said he planned to step down by October.

Contrary to the prevailing sentiment in the City of London, Truell said that “the City, more than any other UK sector, has suffered decades of attacks from an EU anxious to bring London down and promote the interests of Frankfurt and Paris”, and that now it would be “freed from the stranglehold of directives, blizzards of rules, and costly regulations” which have made it less competitive compared to the likes of New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

“We already have to register in multiple EU jurisdictions to trade – so much for the single market – so that makes no difference. The existential threats of FTT [Financial Transaction Tax], Solvency II, Euro bailouts…. are all left behind. The transient fall in the pound will usher in a new era of strong economic growth in a free world.”

Truell will not be the only private equity insider celebrating today’s news. Ipex Capital co-principal Jon Moynihan and Better Capital founder Jon Moulton each donated to the Vote Leave campaign in the run-up to the referendum.

In an interview with Private Equity International in March, Moulton – who said he was not intending to vote in the referendum – said he prefers a system under which the UK is “in control of its own direction”.

Moulton told PEI today that he was “generally very pleased that the exit’s gone through”.

“I see the deregulation as an opportunity. Clearly the nature of the actual negotiation could have a huge effect in either direction,” he said.

Moulton said he was interested to see how the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, “whose members of course are really rather international”, would handle its position “in the interests of the British venture capital industry as opposed to the rest of Europe”.

In an op-ed for PEI earlier this month, Moynihan said the EU “prevents innovative companies from succeeding” and has been the caused the collapse of “multiple” industry sectors in the UK “ranging from the eradication of the clinical trials industry in the UK, where we used to be a world leader; to closure of many energy-intensive companies; to the migration of the art auction business, again where we used to be a world leader; to the loss of many tens of thousands of jobs associated with our fisheries industry.”

“The claim by Remainians that the EU is ‘the largest market in the world’ relies, again, on a conjurer’s trick: it is only true if you include the UK!” Moynihan wrote. “From the point of view of exports, we are only interested in the rest of the EU, which is a smaller market than the US, smaller than China, smaller even than the Commonwealth. And the EU is growing so much less than any of those markets. Its importance to us as a market becomes increasingly insignificant.”