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CBA story

Winner announced for 2017 Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Competition

CBA: Sohn Hearts and Minds

Bespoke blockchain investment competition app developed by CommSec used to track investments and determine winner.

CommSec today announced PlayfairTan Investment Director Darren Cunneen has won the 2017 Sohn Australia – Hearts & Minds Investment Competition, with a portfolio return from 20 November 2017 to 28 September 2018 of 105.06 per cent, including dividends.

Sohn Australia – Hearts & Minds Investment Leaders Conference, Australia’s premier investor event, brings together the best and brightest investors from around the world. The one-day conference is a fast-paced event, designed to inspire the investment community, and raise crucial funds to support medical research. 

Each year, Australia’s top fund managers present their best investment ideas for the upcoming year. Conference attendees are offered a chance to invest a notional 100,000 digital tokens in at least three of the investment ideas presented at the conference.

The best performing portfolio manager wins a place at the following year’s Sohn Investment Conference in New York, with business class flights donated by Virgin Australia and the Sohn Foundation.

2017 competition winner Darren Cunneen said, “Supporting the health and wellbeing of our next generation is a key focus of PlayfairTan’s philanthropic efforts. And so, aside from an exhilarating day of investment insights, it gives us great pleasure to support the medical research partners of Sohn Hearts & Minds.

“Identifying talented investors is a core part of what we do for our clients and so getting behind an idea put forward by Caledonia was easy,” Mr Cunneen added.

The Sohn Hearts and Minds Investment Competition App

CommSec developed the bespoke app competition in 2016 to let individual attendees to create and track fictitious investment portfolios based of the day’s investment ideas. 

The competition app was developed on distributed ledger technology, and uses a set of smart contracts which implement the business logic of the competition, the share registry, and the virtual currency for each participant. This is then deployed across a private blockchain, developed and managed by CommSec.

A digital wallet was created for each conference attendee, including a simulated "virtual currency" of tokens, to ensure no one was able to "double spend".  With each investment, the participants were interacting with their digital wallet on the blockchain, sending cryptographically signed transactions to the smart contracts.

CommSec Managing Director Richard Burns said: “CommSec has been proudly involved with the Sohn Hearts and Minds Conference since its Australian inception in 2016. In that time, Sohn has raised over $8 million for its beneficiaries and continues to bring together the financial community to raise awareness of medical funding. We’ve designed the app to build on these founding principles and allow attendees to engage with the ideas presented throughout the day.

“We are proud to be able to continue our support of Sohn Australia – Hearts & Minds and help bring the finance community together to raise vital money for Australian medical research.

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to Darren and look forward to reopening the competition at this year’s Sohn Hearts and Minds and Conference this Friday,” said Burns.

The 2018 Sohn Hearts & Minds conference will be held at Hamer Hall, Melbourne this Friday, 16 November. Ticket details available here

About the Conference

Sohn Australia – Hearts & Minds Investment Leaders Conference is Australia’s premier investor event and brings together the best and brightest investors from around the world. The conference is a one-day, fast-paced event that inspires the investment community to raise crucial funds to support medical research. Proceeds from this year’s Sohn Hearts & Minds will be dedicated to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Black Dog Institute, MS Research Australia and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Sohn Australia - Hearts & Minds was inspired by the prestigious Sohn New York Conference hosted by the Sohn Foundation. The conference attracts the world’s top money managers and investment thinkers who donate their time and ideas. Sohn Hearts & Minds first partnered with the Sohn Foundation in 2016 and are pleased to expand Sohn’s global presence through this partnership, inspiring the investment community to raise crucial funds to support Australian medical research.