In the space of three minutes, 10 high-profile investors threw more than $2 million into the hat on Friday at the annual Sohn Hearts & Minds conference in Hobart, Tasmania.
Competing is second nature for these people – even when it comes to giving.
With a half-million-dollar pledge, billionaire rag-trader Solly Lew moved to one-up his sometime sparring partner, asset manager/crusader Geoff Wilson, who kicked off the process by asking the crowd to put their hands on their hearts and let them slip to their wallets.
In what sounded like a fevered auction, David Paradice (Paradice Investment), Phil Green (Alceon), veteran property rich-lister Robert Whyte, Caledonia’s Mark Nelson, private equity group Quadrant’s Chris Hadley rapidly pitched in lots of $100,000.
The honours for generosity went to Brendon O’Connor whose Regal Funds Management is the company engaged in a $1.9 billion attempt to take over Perpetual Investments. He put his hand up for $1 million.
Each stock picker got eight minutes to make their pitch and explain how they have found some investment gem that the market has overlooked.
This is no ordinary investment conference, it’s a go-to event famous for lining up top investment experts to put their reputations on the line by picking a favourite stock to buy.
It’s an investment charity olympics organised by the mega well-connected investment bankers Matthew Grounds and Guy Fowler, and serial entrepreneur and veteran director Garry Weiss.
But there is no shortage of risk for the money managers getting on stage – any bad stock call is easily measured and very public.
And it comes with plenty of theatre. Speakers were ushered in with rock ’n’ roll music and props, and waltzed around the stage.
Sometimes the picks were a bit contrarian, sometimes obscure, and this year almost all were offshore stocks. Professional gambler and owner of MONA David Walsh predicted bitcoin could fall to zero and cautioned against forecasting that market.
Each stock picker got eight minutes to make their pitch and explain how they have found some investment gem that the market has overlooked. It feels like the speed dating version of stock picking.
If that wasn’t enough pressure, these investment picks become part of an investment portfolio which supports medical research.
Making a case this year was made additionally difficult thanks to the huge volatility in world equity markets – most had to justify why the price of the stocks they had picked had declined this year.
The stocks needed to be able to navigate one of the toughest environments in decades – mega-high inflation, soaring interest rates and the threat of a world recession. They also needed to have good environmental credentials, the prospects for growth, proven management and a good lashing of innovation.
Peter Cooper of Cooper Investors highlighted at the start of his pitch the increasing need for companies to be socially responsible, noting that there were three kinds of companies: those that do harm, those that virtue signal, and those that will be on the right side of history.
His pick is the Luxembourg-based testing company Eurofins. Its share price was down 40 per cent because its earnings have normalised since the elevated level it experienced during COVID. Cooper is looking at the longer term trend towards increased government regulation of all kinds of testing from food to pharmaceuticals.
Nick Griffin from Munro Partners delivered a compelling analysis of the growth prospects of Dutch company ASML, which makes the tools used by semiconductor companies.
Arguably Tribeca’s dynamic fund manager Jun Bei Liu (dressed in a brand combo) stole the show prosecuting her investment case for buying Chinese retailer China Duty Free Group – even in the face of the country remaining mostly in lockdown. It has all but cornered the market on duty-free and is looking to expand by taking the business into other international jurisdictions and potentially acquire luxury brands to sell exclusively in their outlets.
Bob Desmond from Claremont Capital didn’t quite carry off his Adidas catwalk appearance but neatly argued that the sporting company was increasingly moving towards a direct distribution model and getting more valuable data in the process.
Meanwhile, let’s hope that BHP and Rio were watching Regal Funds Management’s Tim Elliott uncover a Canadian iron ore miner called Champion Iron that he believes is seriously undervalued.
This article was originally posted by The Age here.
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Two hundred of Australia’s best and brightest money managers, bankers and entrepreneurs toasted the seventh Sohn Hearts and Minds conference at David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art, better known as MONA, in Hobart on Thursday night.
Fund manager turned anti-corruption campaigner Bill Browder is advising investors to hang on to their cash until central banks stop raising interest rates and the cost of living starts to come down, before investing it strategically.
The Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Leaders Conference, held annually, had before Friday’s event made more than $40m in collective donations to medical research. It applies the stock picks made by fund managers in an investment portfolio.
Professional gambler and arts impresario David Walsh had a brutal message for successful top money managers – you may just be lucky.
Technology behind the tech; healthier lifestyles; the green transition and regulatory tailwinds. These are the mega-themes the smartest minds in the market are now firmly getting behind which they believe can help them deliver outsized profits.
A room filled with 700 of the country’s financial luminaries and billionaires is a difficult place to pitch an investment idea but it’s a great place to raise money for charity.
Top global money managers are telling investors to steer clear of companies that don’t make money and invest instead in unloved but profitable businesses, as continuing central bank interest rate rises threaten to keep markets falling.
Perpetual’s star stock picker Anthony Aboud says companies with strong balance sheets will finally be rewarded for their discipline in an environment of rising interest rates and global market upheaval.
Perpetual’s top stock picker Anthony Aboud makes his money running against the crowd and this is why property trusts like Charter Hall are sitting right the top his list right now.
Some of the top fund managers in the country will on Friday pitch their best investment ideas to the Sohn Hearts & Minds conference.
Twenty students from Kingston High School have been given the opportunity to attend the prestigious Sohn Hearts & Minds conference this week.
Gerry Cardinale, the owner of AC Milan and a host of other soccer, cricket, baseball and ice hockey assets is trying to double his money in the ‘resilient’ asset class.
Carleton’s conviction will be on full display on Friday, when he makes his third appearance at the annual Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Leaders Conference, where stock-pickers share their best ideas in the name of medical research.
James Miller, a portfolio manager at Firetrail Investments, believes investors need to stop seeing the global decarbonisation push as a risk – and start seeing it as an opportunity.
Maggie O'Neill, Head of Marketing and Operations at HM1 joined Nick Griffin, CIO of Munro Partners to discuss the history of Hearts & Minds, Munro Partners' involvement and Nick's upcoming stock pitch.
Bob Desmond is Head of Claremont Global and Co-Portfolio Manager. He will present at the Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Leaders Conference in Tasmania on November 18.
An increasing intransigence from authorities in Beijing toward private enterprise - and harsh pandemic restrictions - might be keeping some investors away, but the same factors are creating good opportunities in Chinese stocks.
Joyce Meng is a presenter at this year’s Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Leaders Conference on November 18, which takes place in Hobart and aims to raise money for medical research.
Founder, CIO and CEO of Eminence Capital Ricky Sandler talks about his journey launching the $5.7 billion dollar asset manager, how the market has changed over the past decade and his motivations for participating in this year's Sohn Hearts & Minds conference.
Munro’s Nick Griffin on why he prefers Alphabet and Amazon over Meta, shorting industrials and Chinese equities, and his top picks for the energy transition.
When Auscap Asset Management founder Tim Carleton tips a stock at this month’s Sohn Hearts & Minds conference in Hobart, he doubts it will be a name that shocks investors.
The veteran fund manager says the most uncertain period of his career will deliver huge opportunities – providing his firm can stick to its system.
One of the nation’s most influential fund managers has warned that investment markets have entered a “new phase”, with hidden risks in the form of debt sitting in super funds, private equity and big investors that is set to test the financial system.
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review before the Sohn Hearts & Minds conference, Sandler named global on-demand ride-sharing and food delivery service Uber Technologies among his top picks, alongside real estate marketplace Zillow.
When former Amcor chief executive Ken MacKenzie was named the new chairman of BHP five years ago, that was a sign for top-rated fund manager Peter Cooper to move back into the mining giant.
Jun Bei Liu is the lead portfolio manager at Tribeca Alpha Plus Fund. Ms Liu is set to present an investment idea at the Sohn Hearts & Minds conference in Tasmania on November 18.
Regal’s hedge fund focused on the resources space has thumped the market and its top stock picker, Tim Elliott, says resources stocks are still cheap.
Desmond, who worked in London before moving to Australia in 2008, is making his first appearance at the annual Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Leaders Conference, where fund managers give their favourite stock tips to raise money for medical research charities.
The WaveStone principal says retail will drop away but quality operators will find a way through.
Catherine Allfrey, Principal and Portfolio Manager of WaveStone Capital will be speaking at this year's Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference in Hobart which raises funds for Australian medical research.
Bill Browder, the fund manager who has become one of Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, says the Russian leader is increasingly desperate, but no less dangerous.
Bill Browder, once the largest foreign investor in Russia and the man behind the global Magnitsky justice campaign, says the US is the weakest link in the war in Ukraine.
There are many descriptors for Browder, including Russia’s anti-corruption crusader, and its most dogged oligarch hunter. But it’s his title as Putin’s No.1 foreign enemy that bestows on him another label - consummate survivor.
On November 18, Griffin – with $4.7bn under management at Munro Partners – heads to Hobart for this year’s face-to-face pitch to investors on his 2023 pick.
Tim Carleton, founder of Auscap Asset Management and 2022 Conference Fund Manager sat down with Equity Mates to discuss his investment philosophy and what makes a great Australian company.
When investor Kara Nortman and actor Natalie Portman decided to start a soccer team, they created a brand that has grabbed the sporting world’s attention.
Sporting teams and leagues are becoming serious investments for global firms managing billions of dollars, as private equity funds eye off the sector’s growth potential and resilience to economic slumps.
Australia’s sports leagues are being held back by a culture of conservatism and need to be more open to private equity investment or risk falling behind, investors say, with Netball Australia’s rejection of a $6.5m bailout cited as just one example of administrators’ aversion to private capital. Conservative Australian sports leagues are ‘letting investment opportunities pass them'.
A financier and political activist who is viewed as a key enemy of Russia’s government will address Australian investors on the war in Ukraine at this year’s Sohn Hearts and Minds conference, as the conflict continues to have a major influence on global markets.
Keynote speaker will be Bill Browder, the former Hermitage Capital hedge fund manager that has become an arch nemesis of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as he has lobbied governments to black-list senior Russian officials attempting to shift their assets offshore.
Bill Browder, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, the founder of Hermitage Capital and the man behind the Magnitsky Law on human rights, will headline this year’s Sohn Hearts & Minds investor conference.