New charity investment vehicle

The backers of a new ASX-listed fund with a charity twist have a happy headache to overcome after the $500 million offering was over-subscribed in three days and well ahead of its close later this week.

The Hearts & Minds Investments listed investment company (LIC) will invest its money in 25 high conviction stock picks partly selected off recommendations made by presenters at the November Sohn Hearts and Minds Investment Conference event in Melbourne. The remainder of the picks will come from a board of prominient fund managers who are giving their time and expertise for free.

A fixed 1.5 per cent of the fund's assets will be donated to medical charities every year.

The LIC reached the maximum subscription amount in three days meaning the offer is now oversubscribed ahead of it closing this week meaning the managers now face the challenge on deciding how to build the share register. Before the general offer opened earlier this month about $225 million was alreday spoken for by some of the biggest families in business including the Packers and the Lowys.

Peter Cooper, founder of Cooper Investor which is one of the five core funds managing the LIC, said the fact the fund was oversubscribed in three days was "extraordinary".

“The market has been very positive towards the LIC – not only because of the reputations of the fund managers behind it – but also for its charitable nature. Investors see this as an example of the industry coming together to help support medical research," he said.

"The offer is now well oversubscribed, so the company now has the challenge of how to form the register.”

 

The offer is now well oversubscribed, so the company now has the challenge of how to form the register.

Peter Cooper

 

Mr Cooper said the investments would build on Australia's global leading role in medical research.

"For every dollar invested in medical research, an average of $2.17 in health benefits is returned," he said.

Cooper Investors’ designated charities are Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, The Centre of Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University and The Mind & Brain Centre at Sydney University.

“I chose these charities because I believe that by advancing brain research, we can better understand the brain and how it functions in relation to mental health and well-being. We can also combat the stigma of brain disorders through education," he said.

The ASX has had a tough year now sitting just above where it began in January, but Mr Cooper, whose fund only invests "long", said there were still good opportunities for investment.

“Areas of interest include growing verticals within healthcare such as diagnostics and life sciences, or the ongoing digitisation of traditional sectors such as the travel industry," he said.

"We particularly like businesses with a high proportion of recurring revenues like subscription businesses or businesses selling services that customers ‘can’t go without’."

Mr Cooper said his fund "loved" to back focussed management which often meant businesses that were still "founder-led" or "family linked".

“When markets come under pressure these management teams look to be opportunistic, invest for the long term and can create enormous value during these uncertain times.”

 

For more information go to: sohnheartsandminds.com.au

 

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