Sygnia Health Innovation Global Equity Fund
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Sygnia Health Innovation Global Equity Fund – Ahead of the Curve

We have previously spoken about the idea of offshore investing as a method of diversification into foreign assets. This strategy is usually associated with gaining exposure to the power of the USD. However, it’s equally attractive to be able to participate in global trends and market sectors that are traditionally under-performing and/or under-developed in the local South African context.

The health sector is a prime example, but with the launch of the new Sygnia Health Innovation Global Equity Fund on 5 August 2020, South Africans now have the opportunity to benefit from the watershed innovations happening in the field that will undoubtedly shape the landscape for years to come. And, as can be seen from the below graph, the health sector is a highly lucrative one.

Healthcare as a % of global GDP – PwC Global Innovation Study

Healthcare As a Trend

A sobering fact is that the market cap of the five largest pharma companies (~$1.3 trn) outstrips the size of the JSE (~$1.1 trn). A contributing factor to these impressive numbers is the cutting-edge nature of modern medical advances. As per a PwC report, these advances are being driven by huge investments with $169.5 billion being pumped into research and development in healthcare in 2018 alone. Somewhat surprisingly, this amount exceeds that spent on computing and electronics during the same period.

Another report released by Deloitte in 2019 put the expected annual growth of global healthcare spending at 5.4%, rising to $10.1 trillion by 2022. Notably, this is before taking into account the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which have yet to be fully felt.

Another influence on the increasing demand for healthcare services is that of an aging population. Demographic data shows a rise in the average age of many developed countries’ populations. In the USA, the median age has risen to 38 while in the European Union the over-65 age bracket accounts for 19.8% of the population in 2018 – expected to reach 31.3% by 2100.

As per the below graphic from McKinsey Global Institute, the benefits of a healthier population are many and far reaching. As such, the long-term incentives are set to remain for progress in the sector.

Benefits of improving healthcare


While the field is by its nature both complex and diverse, the Sygnia Health Innovation Global Equity Fund’s focus is on companies involved in the following innovations:

–          Next-generation genetic sequencing and targeted healthcare (customised to suit the individual)

–          3D-printed devices (lower cost, highly customised)

–          Virtual reality (simulated training environments)

–          The use of AI in diagnostics

–          Point-of-care diagnostics (fast diagnostics as you wait, the benefit of which has highlighted difficulties faced during Covid-19 testing)

–          Virtual medicine (remote consultations)

–          Biosensors and health monitoring trackers (remote diagnostics)

–          Immunotherapies to extend cancer survival rates

Who Does the Fund Invest In?

Portfolio construction

The Sygnia Health Innovation Global Equity Fund uses a dynamic indexation strategy to select the companies in the fund. As such, any potential investments must be securities traded on developed market exchanges. The Sygnia portfolio manager makes use of the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) to gain a weighted top 150 companies index based on free float-adjusted market capitalisation. Also pivotal to the process is using an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) screen as a primary criterion. This gives investors peace of mind knowing that they are in alignment with the global trend of good business practice through the principle of impact investing, as seen in the Sygnia OSI Fund.

What Does the Fund Aim to Achieve?

According to Sygnia, the investment objective of the fund is to “deploy capital so as to generate socially impactful and sustainable long-term return, where exceptional performance goes hand-in-hand with changing lives for the better by redefining healthcare – more value, better outcomes, greater convenience, access and simplicity; all at a lower cost.”

In terms of a quantifiable metric, the Sygnia Health Innovation Global Equity Fund aims to outperform the returns of the MSCI World Health Care Net Total Return Index, which is widely believed to be the benchmark for the sector. Boasting returns of 18% in rand terms since 1995, it is clear to see the benefits for investors if this target is met.

MSCI World Health Care Index

For more information on this fund feel free to get in touch:

+27 11 839 2302

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Introducing the Sygnia OSI Fund

Sygnia have released an exciting new fund, the OSI (Oxford Sciences Innovation) fund. We’re excited because like their other products, it’s an innovative fund, but also one that creates change through Impact Investing.

What is the Sygnia OSI fund?

Sygnia deploys 100% of their capital to generate socially impactful and sustainable long-term returns.

The aim of the fund is have exceptional performance while changing lives by making the unaffordable and unachievable possible.

The focus is on Impact Investing.

What is Impact Investing?

This is a type of investment strategy which invests in companies and organisations who generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return for the investor.

Essentially, it means you can be part of the change you want to see, while making a return on investment.

More on the actual fund:

The portfolio invests in companies such as:

  • Evox Therapuetics – modifiers of exosomes to facilitate targeted drug delivery to organs such as, but not limited to the brain and the central nervous system
  • Osler Decentralised Diagnostics – they have created a diagnostic device that enables anyone to test for a majority of biomarkers from a single drop of blood
  • Ultromics AI of Echocardiography – their technology reduces the error rate in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease by more than 50%
  • Vaccitech – creating novel vaccines that elicit strong responses from T-cells. They are a clinical stage T-cell immunotherapy company developing products to treat and prevent infectious diseases

For more information on this fund feel free to get in touch:

☎️ +27 11 839 2302


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Sygnia Itrix 4th Industrial Revolution

Sygnia continue to make global technologies available to local investors.

Before the launch of the Sygnia FAANG Equity fund there was the Sygnia Itrix 4th Industrial Revolution. This fund allows local investors to buy into global technology stocks which track the Kensho New Economies Composite ℠ Index (KNEX). 

What exactly is the fourth industrial revolution?

In essence, an industrial revolution is defined as being a period of major industrialisation in manufacturing and a revolution in power. The first industrial revolution saw the mechanization of agriculture and textile manufacturing. The second industrial revolution was centred in the expansion and development of electricity, chemicals, petroleum, and all things that can be made and consumed using these. The third industrial revolution saw the rise of nuclear energy and electronics such as telecommunications and computers.

The fourth industrial revolution began the minute the internet became a reality and is rooted in the new technology phenomenon, digitalisation. Where globally, every single thing has the potential to connect to whatever else may potentially exist. This is giving the human race the opportunity to build a virtual world that works towards connecting everyone, everything and every process imaginable.

This is why the Sygnia Itrix 4th Industrial Revolution Global Equity ETF is so unique and exciting for investors. While it is a high-risk fund, it offers investors access to global companies whose core focus is new technologies and innovations that have the potential to transform the global economy in ways we have only imagined until now.

It captures the 21st Century Sectors that are propelling the 4th Industrial Revolution and fostering new industries that will transform every facet of our lives. The term “4th Industrial Revolution” has become widely accepted as the name associated with the concept of a revolution which will fundamentally change the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is characterised by the coming online of a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds and impacting all disciplines, economies and industries.

But what exactly is KNEX?

It’s a US Analytics organisation, which is funded by companies such as Goldman Sachs, Google Ventures, CNBC, among others. KNEX essentially uses and understands big data and natural language programming, which they use to scan public information and financial statements online to identify the companies who are at the forefront of fourth industrial revolution. Each index focuses on different sectors, and includes companies producing and developing a wide range of technology that include robotics, space, cybersecurity, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, clean energy and so much more.

The objective of this portfolio is to provide simple access to investors who want to financially benefit from up and coming technologies. Sygnia suggests a minimum investment period of 5 years.

“In addition to tracking market indices, Sygnia manages the allocation between different sectors and indices in a dynamic manner based on its proprietary investment approach and methodology” – Sygnia

If you would like more information, get in touch with us.

Sygnia released the FAANG fund shortly after the 4th Industrial Revolution, you can read all about it here.

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Sygnia FAANG Fund

The financial world is buzzing with the news that South African investors now have the opportunity to gain access to the most popular and best-performing global technology stocks, previously difficult for South African investors to access, through the Sygnia FAANG fund, but what does this actually all mean.

Let’s explore exactly what the FAANG fund is. The FAANG acronym stands for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google, arguably five of the world’s largest giants in the technology space – and previously completely inaccessible to the South African market. The Sygnia FAANG Plus Equity Fund is the first investment vehicle of its kind in South Africa, offering local investors concentrated access to the world’s leading disruptors across social media, technology, cloud storage, online retail and entertainment. It’s a benchmark in South African investing and has the potential to change the entire investment game for South Africans interested in becoming global players.

“Given Sygnia’s positioning as an innovative fintech market disruptor, we thought it appropriate to offer local investors the opportunity to invest in global giants at the forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution”, says Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka.

These incredibly influential global technology stocks have historically generated strong returns for investors, in fact, the sheer scale and size of these networks have allowed individual companies to disrupt entire industries. The fact that South African investors now have exposure to these companies as well as the staggering earnings growth potential that they aim to achieve means that the way we invest needs to revolutionise along with what we are investing in.

So, that raises the question of whether FAANG stocks are a smart investment. The answer, as always, depends upon your individual situation and investing goals, but beyond that, there are some things you need to know about investing in FAANG to avoid potential catastrophe.

  • These stocks won’t always go up. It’s easy to look now and wonder how on earth these stocks could ever be anything but hot commodities, but it happens all the time. Make sure that you are ready for the ebb and flow that is going to come with investments of this nature. Treat these investments like any other stock. Management and execution are crucial.
  • know that these stocks tend to move together. Yes, only Apple sells iPhones, but more people buying iPhones means more people using Facebook, and more people using Netflix, and so on. If you want to own all five FAANG stocks, you are going to need to diversify your portfolio elsewhere. From a diversification standpoint, these stocks are all the same.
  • Don’t think that you are “special” in knowing about these companies. These are worldwide brands that are closely followed by every kind of investor, from the guy looking to grow his son’s university fund, to billionaire professional players – these stocks are hot, and everyone is jumping on this bandwagon.

We are not here to say whether FAANG investing is a good idea or a bad idea, but, just like any other investment decision, thoughtful deliberation is required. It is important to remember that although it seems like a crazy idea to imagine a word without these technology titans, FAANG stocks are a good investment for the long-term, but they aren’t magic. They need to be monitored, and gains should be taken along the way, just like any other stock.

For sound financial planning advice, come chat to one of our experts – we have our fingers on the global pulse and can offer you our views on this kind of disruptive investing so that you’re always fully armed when making life changing financial decisions.