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The star stock pickers with a social purpose

Hamish Corlett, Founder of TDM Growth Partners discusses TDM's commitment to helping support Australian charities including the win-win nature of Hearts & Minds and why he's proud to be involved.
Tony Boyd
AFR
 • 
Nov 7, 2020

When Hamish Corlett appears at the 2020 Sohn Hearts and Minds Investment Leaders Conference next week, the audience will be hoping he can repeat his performance from last year.

 

He picked Spotify in November 2019 when it was trading about $US135 a share. Today, the music streaming business is trading at $US265 a share, a gain of 96 per cent.

 

Corlett's pitch during last year's Sohn conference was that Spotify had not only saved the music industry from the threat posed by internet piracy, but it had also become a global tech business of equivalent stature to Facebook, Amazon, Google, Netflix and Apple.

 

But when Corlett sits down with Chanticleer for a pre-Sohn interview, he is more interested in talking about his fund management company's commitment to helping fund Australian charities.

 

TDM Growth, which was founded by Corlett and Tom Cowan in 2005, has a two-pronged strategy for helping others.

 

First, it is one of the six core fund managers donating their services to the listed investment company Hearts and Minds Investments, which was set up to invest in the stocks picked at the Sohn conference each year.

 

The other core managers are Caledonia, Cooper Investors, Magellan, Paradice Investments and Regal Funds Management. Investment fees are waived and donated to a range of medical charities.

 

Win-win situation

This is a win-win situation – investors in Hearts and Minds Investments have achieved a return of 39.8 per cent over the past year and 68.5 per cent since inception in September 2018.

 

Corlett says TDM's second way of giving back to society is through the creation of the TDM Foundation, which was established in 2013.

 

The foundation received a lump sum donation from TDM to get started and it is now sustained through the payment of 1 per cent of TDM's profits each year.

 

This is not an insignificant amount, given that TDM has about $1.1 billion under management, charges a 15 per cent performance fee and has achieved returns of 22 to 30 per cent a year for 15 years.

 

Corlett says the senior management team at TDM is keen to build up the not-for-profit side of the operation and to that end, it recently employed Roly Clifton-Bligh as the CEO of the TDM Foundation.

 

"Everyone in this team is really passionate about what we do and we want to be as good an investment firm as we can possibly be for decades to come," he says.

 

"Alongside that, what we're equally passionate about is having a really positive impact on the community around us, which is the second motivating force for us."

 

Corlett says he wants TDM to have a positive impact on the finance industry.

 

"That's why we got involved in Sohn," he says. "And also, I believe we're at the very early stages of making a larger impact by helping great innovative, not-for-profit organisations grow and develop and scale."

 

Corlett and his colleagues are part of a growing number of funds management companies in Australia actively engaged in the not-for-profit sector.

 

Geoff Wilson from Wilson Asset Management was the driving force behind the establishment of the Future Generation listed investment companies, which manage domestic and international share portfolios.

 

This year's Sohn Hearts and Minds Investment Leaders Conference is a virtual event and tickets cost $500 each. All the stock picks will be included in the Hearts and Minds Investment portfolio.

 

Stock pickers making an appearance this year include Cathie Wood from ARK Invest, who picked Tesla last year, and Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management.

 

 

 

This article was originally posted on The Australian Financial Review here.

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