Calcutta 2023: Australia's brightest investors name 17 top stocks for the year ahead

Ally Selby

Livewire Markets

After two years of events forced online by what now feels like a distant memory of a pandemic, hundreds of the Australian funds management industry's finest flocked to Sydney's Ivy Precinct last night to name their best stock ideas for the year ahead. 

Now in its 23rd year, the Australian Fund Manager Awards recognises the achievements of the industry's best while raising crucial funds to support the work of two charities - Odyssey House NSW and the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation. 

Last night, the Calcutta stock-picking competition raised $85,000. Half of this money goes to these two charities, and the other half is gifted to the winner of the stock-picking competition (and is typically also donated to charity). The evening as a whole raised well over $200,000. This takes the total raised over the event's history to close to $5 million. 

Adam Woods, managing director and head of sales trading at E&P (and also the organiser of the Calcutta), told Livewire that it was wonderful to be in the room with the industry's best after a difficult few years and raise money for a good cause.  

"The main inspiration is to raise money for two really good charities. They do great work and the people who work at those organisations are brilliant and really dedicated," he said. 
"We're only helping in a small way, compared to what they're doing, but when you see what they actually do with the money, it's very rewarding. And with the event, it's just great to catch up with everyone in one room - it doesn't happen very often."

Awards include the illustrious Golden Bull - presented to the best investment manager of the year, and the Golden Calf, awarded to the best emerging fund manager in the industry. 

Prizes are also given out for the Best Fund Management Analyst, Best Australian-based Global Equity Manager and the Best Absolute and Long Short Return Manager of the year. 

But the most highly anticipated event of the night is the naming of a new inductee into the "Hall of Fame", with the winner joining the ranks of Ellerston Capital's Chris Kourtis, WaveStone Capital's Catherine Allfrey, Fidelity's Paul Taylor and many more. 

In this wire, you'll learn about the winning calls from last year, the fund managers who took home the trophies, as well as 17 top stock picks for the year ahead. 

Plus, you'll also learn about the amazing work of the two charities supported by the event - and how you can get involved too. 

Adam Woods and Bill Forde from Evans and Partners. (Source: supplied)

Adam Woods and Bill Forde from Evans and Partners. (Source: supplied)

Results of the Calcutta 2021-2022 competition

In what was a very difficult year for markets, only two of the stocks picked in the 2021-2022 Calcutta posted positive results during the duration of the competition. 

Paul Skamvougeras and the team at Perpetual Asset Management took home the silver for their pick Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG), which returned 13% during the Calcutta. This year, the stock has lifted 6.28%. 

Airlie Funds Management's Matt Williams and his team won the top prize after picking Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) for the second year in a row at the Calcutta. The lithium giant returned 77.6% during the length of the competition. This year, Mineral Resources has seen its share price soar 26.84%. 

Top stock picks from the country's best fund managers for the year ending 20/10/2022
Top stock picks from the country's best fund managers for the year ending 20/10/2022

With the event forced online last year, Calcutta announced a second stock-picking competition for emerging and undiscovered stock pickers to put their talents on display. 

Merlon Capital Partners' Joey Mui took out the top gong for his met coal pick Stanmore Resources (ASX: SMR), which returned 138.4% during the months of the competition. Since the beginning of the year, SMR has returned a whopping 182.47%. You can read more about the Merlon team and its fund below: 

Managed Fund
Merlon Australian Share Income
Australian Shares
Top stock picks from analysts and the public for the year ending 20/10/2022
Top stock picks from analysts and the public for the year ending 20/10/2022

Matt Williams inducted into the Hall of Fame

Matt Williams
Portfolio Manager
Airlie Funds Management

Matt Williams has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining a relatively short and exclusive list of the best of the best in the country. 

In what was part rave and part roast, Airlie's Emma Fisher gave a heartwarming (and hilarious) speech on Williams' five best qualities. Without butchering the gags, the five best qualities as voted by the many people Williams has worked with are:

  1.  Williams is incredibly humble, and has achieved so much during his career - but often flies under the radar as he is the first to talk himself down. 
  2. He has a great sense of humour. 
  3. Williams is supportive and kind. 
  4. He cares enormously. 
  5. He's an incredible and courageous investor. 

Livewire extends our congratulations to Williams - a very deserving winner. 

Airlie's Matt Williams and Emma Fisher. 
Airlie's Matt Williams and Emma Fisher. 

Other award winners

Other award winners from the night include John Hempton's Bronte Capital, which took out the best absolute long/short award, as well as Perpetual which won the top gong as the best Australian small companies manager. PM Capital was named the best Australian-based global equities fund.  

Kenneth Wan from Drummond Knight Asset Management was celebrated as the best investment analyst of the year, while Spheria won the Golden Calf. 

The Golden Bull for the best Australian investment manager was awarded to Schroders. 

Managed Fund
Perpetual Wholesale Smaller Companies Fund
Australian Shares
Spheria Emerging Companies
Australian Shares
Managed Fund
Schroder Australian Equity Fund - PC
Australian Shares

17 top stocks for the year ahead

In the name of charity, and for a bit of fun, top fund managers within the industry bid on 17 different stocks for the 2023 Calcutta race. These included:  

  1. Block Inc (ASX: SQ2)
  2. Tabcorp (ASX: TAH)
  3. Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN)
  4. Virgin Money UK (ASX: VUK)
  5. Webjet (ASX: WEB)
  6. Janus Henderson Group (ASX: JHG)
  7. (Short) Brainchip Holdings (ASX: BRN)
  8. (Short) Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS)
  9. Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX: NEU)
  10. Life360 (ASX: 360)
  11. Newcrest (ASX: NCM
  12. Iress (ASX: IRE)
  13. Maas Group Holdings (ASX: MGH)
  14. A2 Milk (ASX: A2M)
  15. Codan (ASX: CDA)
  16. (Short) Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (ASX: CUV)
  17. (Short) Lake Resources (ASX: LKE)

It will certainly be interesting to see where these end up over the next 12 months. Let us know which stock above you think will win the race in the comments section below. 

The charities 

50% of the money raised last night for the Calcutta (as well as the remaining funds raised) will be donated to two charities - the Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation (SCHF) and Odyssey House. 

The SCHF raises funds to care for injured and seriously ill children in NSW, including complex paediatric and adolescent medicines and surgeries wherever (and whenever) they need it. Every year, the foundation funds services which help more than 170,000 kids. 

Over the past 35 years, SCHF has raised millions for two major children's hospitals, specialised care services and research labs across NSW. You can donate to SCHF by clicking here. 

Odyssey House provides Australians with rehabilitation services to address alcohol and substance abuse, providing a home where parents can care for their children during their recovery while teaching families the skills to manage a safe and healthy home. 

Founded in 1977 by Walter McGrath after the death of his son from a heroin overdose, Odyssey House has since helped more than 35,000 turn their lives around. The charity provides both community and residential withdrawal and rehabilitation programs, as well as drug counselling, mental health services and family support programs across Sydney and the NSW Southern Highlands. 

You can learn more about Odyssey House and donate here. 

Odyssey House CEO Julie Babineau and Platinum's Douglas Isles. (Source: supplied)
Odyssey House CEO Julie Babineau and Platinum's Douglas Isles. (Source: supplied)

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Ally Selby
Deputy Managing Editor
Livewire Markets

Ally Selby is the deputy managing editor at Livewire Markets, joining the team at the end of 2020. She loves all things investing, financial literacy and content creation, having previously worked for the likes of Financial Standard, Pedestrian...

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