What We Do
Syntax LLC (“Syntax”) is an investment management firm that offers Syntax Stratified Indices, including Stratified-Weight™ versions of the widely-used S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, MSCI EAFE, Wilshire 5000, and Wilshire LargeCap Indices. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Syntax Advisors, LLC (“Syntax Advisors”), the company offers private funds that track Syntax Stratified-Weight Indices. Syntax Advisors is an SEC-registered investment adviser, under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Syntax Advisors will serve as investment adviser to a family of ETFs that track Stratified-Weight indices. In addition to these offerings, Syntax also provides index licensing services, data feeds, and analytical tools using its proprietary database and portfolio building technology.
Syntax created the Stratified-Weight methodology to manage a risk that it believes is not addressed in traditional indices: the inadvertent overweighting of related business risks that occurs in capitalization-weighted and equal-weighted indices. This strategy was developed using a new technology called Functional Information System™ (“FIS”), a patented multi-attribute classification system developed by Syntax’s sister company, Locus Analytics. FIS is a system for identifying and grouping companies that share related business risks. By using FIS to diversify related business risk, Syntax Stratified-Weight Indices aim to reduce the impacts caused by overweighting similar companies.
The idea for Syntax came from its founder Rory Riggs, a biotechnology entrepreneur who saw that he could apply his experience from clinical sciences to his experience in portfolio management. Rory realized that a clinician and a portfolio manager have the same problem: the inadvertent overweighting of one sub-population over another can create biased outcomes. He also realized that the clinician and portfolio manager should have the same solution: stratification. In clinical trials, stratification is used to manage potential bias inherent to patients with related disease or genetic markers. In portfolio management, stratification is used to manage potential bias associated with related earnings drivers. By overweighting companies with related business risks and related earnings drivers, portfolio risk can occur when sudden shocks impact these companies’ earnings at the same time, creating a negative bias in a portfolio’s performance. Syntax’s Stratified-Weight index methodology is designed to mitigate the impact of these types of negative shocks without sacrificing upside potential.