Schroders has launched an offshore version of its medical discovery fund. In essence, this will be a mirror image of the onshore fund run by Kristine Bryan from New York.
Healthcare remains a major long-term theme and has also become a political theme. Demographic trends strongly indicate that demand will grow at an exponential rate. On average, the over-65s consume five times more medicines than those under 65.
Healthcare has made great strides over the last 40 years but there is still a long way to go. Of the more than 30,000 known diseases worldwide, at present, only a third can be treated with current medication.
Healthcare is also a lot more diversified than many believe. This is important because at present the larger pharmaceutical companies are under some pressure because of patent expiry. The Schroder fund will be invested in large and mid-cap pharmas, biotech, medical devices and services. The offshore fund will be dollar-denominated with three share classes, unlike the single offering onshore. The A class is similar to the onshore version, with an initial charge of 5.26 per cent and 1.5 per cent annual.
However, the B class offers no initial with the same AMC but also includes renewal while the C class is an institutional version with a minimum investment of $500,000. Initial charge is 3.09 per cent and annual 0.8 per cent.
While most of you are likely to buy the onshore version, clearly IFAs with a large expat contingent will find the addition of an offshore version very helpful.
Mark Dampier is head of research at Hargreaves Lansdown