Rated Fund 2016-17, 2020. Backs potential global leaders in life sciences
This specialist healthcare investment trust was recommended on interactive investor’s ACE 30 list of ethical investments in 2019 and was the third most-bought ethical fund on the platform last year. It was removed from our Rated Funds in 2017 because its shares were trading at a premium, but it returns for 2020.
Its shares have significantly de-rated over the past 12 months – more so than other trusts in the biotechnology and healthcare sector – from a near 46% premium to single digits. We like the trust for its focus on unquoted companies, which are best held through a closed-ended structure, and it replaces International Biotechnology, which includes some big biotech names.
Syncona is a FTSE 250-listed company focused on founding, building and funding global leaders in innovative areas of life science, and is an established leader in cell and gene therapies. It is managed by a team with deep scientific backgrounds and strong commercial experience. Chief executive Martin Murphy co-founded Syncona (originally BACIT) in 2012 with the Wellcome Trust. He was previously a partner at MVM Life Science Partners, a venture capital company focused on life science and healthcare.
The trust taps into rising global demand for healthcare, fuelled by ageing global populations, increased knowledge and awareness among patients and the growing prevalence of chronic diseases. It takes significant ownership stakes in companies with the potential to be global leaders in areas of high unmet need that it can own at least to commercialisation. The portfolio is made up of no more than 15-20 companies that can deliver transformational treatments to patients.
Narrative and ratings content all as of January 2020.See all Money Observer rated funds
McDonald has been a vice president and associate portfolio manager with Phoenix Investment Counsel since 1992. He joined the company in 1990 as a marketing coordinator for investment communications, and became a research analyst in 1991. McDonald began his career in 1989 as a financial services advisor for The America Group. McDonald earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1994. He was born November 29, 1967 in Waterbury, Connecticut.
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