Institutional investors back Australia, New Zealand timber fund with €460m

Sustainable real assets manager New Forests announces final close of fund

Institutional investors have contributed to a A$707m (€460.8) final close of Sydney-based fund manager New Forests’ new Australia/New Zealand forestry fund.

The Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 2 is a closed-end fund targeting both hardwood and softwood timber plantations as well as infrastructure and processing assets.

The fund, which had an initial close at AU$570m in June last year, will be run from Sydney with David Shelton, Director of Investment Programs, leading acquisitions and Keith Lamb, Director of Operations, leading asset management.

New Forests, which is committed to sustainable forestry management and which is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), was established in 2005 and now manages AU$2.3bn in forestry, rural land, and environmental markets investments.“We are delighted with the support we have received from our clients in this fundraising,” said CEO David Brand, adding the firm is focused on satisfying the increasing demand for real assets from institutional investors. The investors backing the new fund weren’t named.

It comes as the timber sector in Australia and New Zealand has increasingly moved towards institutional ownership, reflecting forestry’s relatively low correlation with other financial assets, low volatility, and cashflow potential, New Forests said.

David Blood, the former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and the co-founder of Generation Investment Management with former US Vice President Al Gore, sits on New Forests’ board. Link