Harvard University’s investment manager has spoken out in favor of timberland investment as a way to make cash while investing in an ethical cause, in a move endorsed by FRA.
Online PR News – 01-August-2012 – Bainbridge Island, WA, July 31, 2012 – Harvard University’s investment manager has spoken out in favor of timberland investment as a way to make cash while investing in an ethical cause, in a move endorsed by Forestry Research Associates (FRA).
Harvard Management Company’s chief executive, Jane Mendillo, spoke at the CNBC Delivering Alpha Conference in order to voice her support for investing in natural resources. This is according to a report in The Australian.
The Antipodean newspaper was particularly interested in the endorsement from Harvard as the timber the legendary university has invested in is growing in New Zealand.
FRA, is a research and analysis consultancy specializing in forestry investment. FRA’s analysis partner, Peter Collins, said, “We rarely hear from Harvard Management Company, but when we do, they often speak about their investment in natural resources and the gains they have made from this investment strategy,"
The company manages the not insignificant $32 billion Harvard endowment and purchased forested land measuring 170,000 hectares in central North Island in 2003. At the time, the forestry investment industry in New Zealand wasn’t looking good thanks to high export costs and a huge preference for Russian softwood in China. Ms Mendillo said that Harvard’s investment came at a good time, when forestry investment were less fashionable than they are now. "Natural resources is our favourite area and it happens to be a favourite area where we feel that we may have an advantage as an early entrant into the asset class, “ she explained.
Mr Collins added, “Harvard got a good price for their timberland as the investment was made before people learned what a great hedge against inflation and the strong returns timberland can generate over time.”
FRA supports a number of forestry investment projects and particularly investment in non-native plantations in Brazil through firms like Greenwood Management. “Investing in trees provides a great mid- to long-term option for risk-averse investors,” added Mr Collins.