Foundation

Hearts and Minds (ASX: HM1)

Using portfolio management to save lives
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How we help

  • Core fund manager 
  • Active support: strategy  
  • Medical research due diligence 
  • Impact assessment

Background

Every dollar invested in medical research returns nearly four times that in society benefits (KPMG, 2018).  

Despite this, Australian researchers face funding success rates of just 10-15%. Even if initial funding is found, sustainable funding will remain elusive unless research can cross the valley of death into either commercialisation or receiving significant grant dollars from government or foundations.

For researchers undertaking new and novel work, or who are the start of the research career, the funding challenges are even greater. Government funding often goes to those ideas that are established with more certain outcomes, or to those researchers with a proven track record, As a researcher though, how do you get to that point if no one is willing to support your new research idea.

The lack of support often means those ideas that might revolutionise disease treatment might go unfunded and the researchers with those ideas are pushed to head overseas in search of more secure work.

Changemaker Leadership

Guy Fowler OAM, Matthew Grounds AM and Dr Gary Weiss AM worked to scale exponentially the benefits stemming from the Sohn Investment conference.

The conference concept was established in New York, its original purpose was where people could hear from some of the best investors in the world. The funds raised from conference ticket sales were donated to medical research.

Guy, Matthew and Gary looked at the impact the conference was having and thought more could be done. They broadened the conference idea, to create an investment fund listed on the share market that would be open to anyone. They approached the investment firms presenting at the conference, asked them to manage a listed fund, waive their management fee with the equivalent amount then donated to medical research.

TDM Growth Partners has been a core fund manager of Hearts and Minds Listed Investment Company since 2019. This involvement has allowed the TDM Foundation to individually donate $1.4 million to date and support:

  • WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) – innovative CAR-T cancer treatment 
  • The Baker Institute – fighting the Type 2 Diabetes endemic in Australia’s remove indigenous communities 
  • Pain Management Research Institute – improving access to treatment 
  • The Florey Institute – Gene therapy to improve the lives of people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder 
  • MS Australia – working towards a cure for Multiple Sclerosis through the gut biome

Exponential Scale

From donating an average of $3m from each conference to now distributing approximately $12m annually, the listed investment company has exponentially grown the impact of Hearts and Minds. The Group has now donated over $65 million to date, making it one of Australia’s largest medical research philanthropists. As their fund value grows, so does the total dollar value of their donations. The current target is that 1.5% of Net Tangible Asset (NTA) value is donated every year.

By 2030, it is conceivable the yearly amount donated to medical research is over $20m. The model also encourages potential investors to choose HM1 as their fund manager. Not only do they get fantastic returns, underpinned by a diversified portfolio of companies recommended by some of Australia’s best fund managers, they know is doing so, Australia’s medical researchers benefit.

A Novel Approach

This model is a first of its kind. The brilliance of HM1’s model is getting fund managers to waive their management fee, from the moment they start with HM1 and into perpetuity. Therefore, as the fund grows, the amounts donated increase significantly. This is impact philanthropy at its finest.

After a few years of running one of Australia’s best investment conferences, Sohn Hearts & Minds, Guy, Matthew, Gary, and a few select fund managers created the Hearts and Minds Listed Investment Company. Initially raising $500 million to invest in global equities but instead of fund managers getting a management fee, that fee of 1.5% of Net Tangible Asset value would be donated to charity.  

The model they’ve created generates financial returns for HM1 shareholders, many of whom would not otherwise be able to get access to the investment companies managing HM1 investment, generates financial returns. It also allows fund managers to use their intellectual property to generate funds to support medical research. It’s a win-win-win model.

We are incredibly proud to support Hearts and Minds. 

Read more about their impact in their annual report

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