Hearts and Minds Investments Limited is a unique Australian listed investment company with two objectives: to maximise long-term returns to shareholders by investing in high conviction ideas; and to provide vital financial support to leading medical research institutes across Australia. This charitable goal is made possible by waiving typical investment fees, enabling the fund to donate over $9m since its inception in November 2018.
Swinburne’s Centre for Human Psychopharmacology is honoured to have been selected by one of Hearts and Minds’ fund managers, Cooper Investors, as a recipient of funding.
‘There are many quality-of-life issues that can be enhanced from a better understanding of human cognition, mood and behaviour,’ says Hearts and Minds Chief Executive Officer Paul Rayson, a Swinburne Business alumnus.
‘These are issues that will affect most of us either directly, or those close to us, at some stage of our life,’ he says.
The philanthropic focus at Cooper Investors is a strong element of the firm’s culture. The philanthropic program spans both mental health medical research and also the provision of direct services.
‘When we agreed to participate as a manager for Hearts and Minds Investments Company we didn’t envisage being at the forefront of a mental health medical research curve, yet the events of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have escalated the need for evidence-based research on what works and what will not, to improve the mental health of our nation,’ says Cooper Investors Head of Philanthropy, Natalie Elliott.
This progressive philanthropic partnership provides discretionary funds to Swinburne’s Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, trusting in the judgement of the expert team within to do what it does best: conduct world-leading research exploring the cognitive and mood effects of natural substances, pharmaceuticals, recreational drugs and dietary interventions across an individual’s lifespan.
‘We understand the pressures faced by universities and research institutes. The funds provided through Hearts and Minds are untied – allowing researchers to direct support to areas of research they believe will have the greatest impact. Only philanthropy, not government has the unique ability to do this,’ says Ms Elliott.
‘We need the philanthropic sector to apply its ‘risk capital’ and enable strong Institutions to continue to develop and lead cutting edge research, and in particular for mid-career researchers to build teams that can be then supported by Government via ARC or NHMRC channels which scale and leverage the outcomes private capital can provide,’ Ms Elliott adds.
Both Hearts and Minds Investments Limited and Cooper Investors are committed to growing a sustainable funding model for beneficiaries like Swinburne, believing in our world-class researchers to tackle the clinical problems of today, and those yet to come.
‘We see the world class research conducted by the team as having the potential to make a positive impact on issues affecting the human mind and behaviour. It’s great to see the team at Swinburne tackling some of these issues that we believe will lead to improved treatments and management of cognitive health,’ says Mr Rayson
This article originally featured in the 2019 Swinburne Giving Donor Impact Report here.