Gresham House has announced that it will be appointed as asset manager for a 24,800-hectare Australian forestry investment, Green Triangle Forest Products (GTFP), which AXA IM Alts has agreed to acquire, subject to regulatory approval, on behalf of clients.
Gresham House also acted as the advisor for AXA IM Alts in relation to this transaction.
The appointment as asset manager is in line with Gresham House’s strategy to grow its international presence. The scale of the additional assets under management and associated net income is likely to lead to the Directors raising their financial expectations, and the Company will provide further guidance on the financial impact of the project upon completion, which is expected at the end of Q4 2021.
The Australian mandate follows Gresham House’s appointment by AXA IM Alts in 2019 as the asset manager to a 4,074-hectare portfolio of forests in Ireland and will see the international relationship between the two managers strengthened. Gresham House is the UK’s largest commercial forestry manager, harvesting approximately 10% of the UK’s softwood annually and managing c.140,000 hectares, worth more than £1.8bn.
Comprising 22,200 hectares of productive area in the Green Triangle, which spans South Australia and Victoria, GTFP demonstrates high-growth rates for softwood and is a significant supplier of softwood logs to the Australian sawmill industry. With a long operating history, favourable terrain, and proximity to customers, GTFP has prime access to domestic and export markets.
David Gardner, CIO of forestry at Gresham House Asset Management, says: “This second asset management appointment by AXA IM Alts to manage its growing forestry portfolio strengthens our position in the sector, at a time when international demand for forestry is taking off and is in line with Gresham House’s ambitions to launch an international forestry strategy for clients. Not only does forestry satisfy ESG investment criteria, but it is also a portfolio diversifier and delivers uncorrelated returns that protect against inflation – characteristics that are particularly appealing in the current environment.”
Commenting on the new mandate, Tony Dalwood, chief executive of Gresham House plc (pictured), adds: “As the UK’s largest commercial forestry investment manager, this significant appointment marks another substantial step forward in our ambition to develop a long-term international asset management platform in real assets. We believe there is a significant investment opportunity in forestry and this area will continue to be a key focus for Gresham House moving forward, as we look for further ways to add value for our clients.”