Founded in 2005, we offer institutional investors targeted opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and the United States and have more than AUD 2.5 billion in assets under management. Our assets include sustainable timber plantations, rural land, and conservation investments related to ecosystem restoration and protection. New Forests focuses on managing our clients’ assets for a future in which landscapes will encompass both production and conservation values. New Forests manages more than 620,000 hectares of land and forests and is headquartered in Sydney with offices in San Francisco and Singapore.
New Forests’ investment strategies take into account a long-term view of economic and market trends and emphasise positive environmental, social, and development outcomes. We concentrate on buying well and then steadily adding value through productivity enhancements, market development, and a focus on commercial management.
Timberland investment in Australia and New Zealand offers access to mature timber markets, well-established forestry management systems, and new opportunities from increasing Asian demand for wood products. Investors can be exposed to Asian growth while investing in a stable, low-risk business environment. New Forests is the largest timberland investment manager in Australia and has operated in New Zealand since 2005.
Tropical Southeast Asia is an emerging market for sustainable plantation forestry investment by institutional investors. Our Southeast Asian investment strategy focuses on certified plantation forestry with an emphasis on technological and silvicultural improvements and a rigorous approach to environmental and social values and good governance. With an eye toward future growth, New Forests manages the first dedicated institutional timberland fund in Southeast Asia.
Forestry investment in the United States has evolved beyond traditional timber management to also encompass returns driven by conservation management strategies and the valuation of ecosystem services in growing environmental markets. New Forests’ US business focuses on strategies related to conservation forestry, mitigation banking, and forest carbon. We established the first institutional fund investing in both forest carbon and mitigation banking and have developed additional investment products that build on our track record.
Completed the final close of the Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 2 with commitments of AUD 707 million.
Completed final close of the Tropical Asia Forest Fund, the first dedicated institutional forestry fund in Southeast Asia.
Closed our first regional timberland investment fund, the AUD 490 million Australia New Zealand Forest Fund.
Launched Forest Carbon Partners, an investment vehicle to supply the California carbon market with high-quality forest carbon offsets
Launched the Eco Products Fund in a JV partnership
Established subsidiary New Forests Asia to manage assets and grow institutional interest in forestry investment in the Southeast Asian region.
New Forests founded with headquarters in Sydney
Opened US subsidiary, New Forests Inc., to lead investments in US environmental markets
While institutional investment in timberland and ecosystem services expands, the nature of the forest sector is evolving. Investors need to navigate a maturing asset class and position their timberland portfolio to benefit from shifts in market conditions and competitive dynamics. Explore the key forestry markets in which New Forests invests and operates by clicking the interactive icons.
Australia is a net importer of timber products, consuming nearly all of its domestic softwood supply for construction and housing.
New Zealand exports over 75% of its production to China, with the rest sold elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.
Softwood grown in the Southern Hemisphere is more productive than in the Northern Hemisphere, where commercial softwood deficits are increasing.
The pulp and paper sector uses over 40% of all industrial wood traded globally, and paper use is linked with per capita GDP. Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam account for the majority of woodchip exports to Japan and China. This is primarily hardwood chips, but some softwood chips are also traded.
Australian blue gum plantations provide the highest yielding pulping material in the world. The future of the Asian pulp and paper industry depends on high-quality, technically managed, FSC certified plantation supply.
The supply of feature-grade timbers from natural forests has sharply declined. Yet demand for such timber is rising due to the growth and urbanisation of the Asian middle class and aging populations in developing and mature economies.
The future of Southeast Asian forestry will be based on a shift to sustainably-managed, high-quality timber plantations. The primary plantations species in the region are teak, rubberwood, acacias, mahoganies, and eucalypts.
Regulated environmental markets in the US for carbon and mitigation banking are leading to new investment opportunities in forestry and land management. These impact investments create conservation outcomes and commercial returns, and innovative business models are now being replicated in the Asia-Pacific region.
Renewable energy demand also provides new market opportunities for wood waste, residues, and woodchip through biomass and biofuel markets. Fast-growing tree plantations can provide a dedicated source for woody biomass, and wood waste is used in bioenergy markets, which are developing in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Asia.
David Brand founded New Forests in 2005 and leads the company’s investment programs. He is a member of New Forests’ Board of Directors and is the Chair of the company’s Investment Committee. David has over 30 years’ experience in timberland investment, forest management, science, and public policy. David is dedicated to innovative, responsible investment strategies in the forest sector and associated assets, including infrastructure, bioenergy, and environmental markets. Previously, David was responsible for investment programs that integrated timber management with emerging environmental market opportunities at Hancock Natural Resources Group (HNRG). Prior to joining HNRG, David was the Executive General Manager of State Forests of NSW where he led pioneering transactions in the commercial development of environmental markets. From 1985-1995 David worked with the Canadian Forest Service as a scientist, director of scientific programs, and ultimately as national Director-General of Science and Sustainable Development. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington, DC-based organisation Forest Trends. David has a PhD from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Toronto in Canada.
Kym Hooper is responsible for overseeing corporate governance, administration, and financial systems for all of New Forests’ businesses and offices. She works across the company to coordinate company-wide functions and deliver consistent, high-quality services to clients. She has over 25 years of finance and operational experience and has an extensive background in financial services, including funds management, wealth management platforms, risk insurance, and advisory businesses. Kym has a Bachelor of Business in Accounting from Charles Sturt University in Australia and is a Certified Practising Accountant (Australia). She is also a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Radha Kuppalli leads capital raising and investor relations for New Forests and oversees the company’s sustainability, communications, and research programs. She manages the company’s relationships with institutional clients around the world, including overseeing new client development, reporting, and client communications. She also collaborates with New Forests’ staff in Sydney, Singapore, and San Francisco on the development of investment products and strategy. Prior to this role, Radha opened and managed New Forests’ US subsidiary and was portfolio manager of the company’s Eco Products Fund. She has been with New Forests since 2006. Radha has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Economic Theory from American University in Washington, D.C., and an MBA and master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University’s School of Management and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is on the Advisory Board of the Center for Business and Environment at Yale and an associate of the Yale World Fellows Program.
Gavin Le Roux is CFO for the New Forests group of companies. He oversees New Forests’ finance and fund administration functions, including fund and client reporting, corporate financial reporting, and financial administration. Since 2006, he has successfully grown New Forests’ corporate and funds financial systems, as the company has taken on more clients and offered a greater number of fund products in multiple jurisdictions. Gavin has over 15 years of experience in commercial and chartered accounting in South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. He is a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) and has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Natal in South Africa and a Master of Environmental Studies from Macquarie University in Sydney. Gavin is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Geoffrey Seeto leads New Forests’ business in Asia and is responsible for the further expansion of the company’s presence in the region. In this role, he leads the company’s Singapore-based investment team. This includes all management activities for the Tropical Asia Forest Fund (TAFF). Geoffrey is responsible for forestry asset acquisitions in the region as well as operational oversight of TAFF assets. He is on the TAFF Investment Committee and is also a member of New Forests’ Executive Committee, which is responsible for business strategy and operations. Geoffrey has over 20 years of experience in financial services, principally in private equity in the infrastructure, natural resources, and energy sectors. Geoffrey’s expertise focuses on the Asia-Pacific region and includes all facets of the investment process. He also brings broad experience in business development, including marketing and capital raising. Geoffrey has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) General Assembly convened in September 2014 in Seville, Spain, with a week of debate, voting, and celebration of 20 years of promoting responsible forest management. In this briefing note, New Forests summarises key outcomes and what they mean for plantation forestry investment in the Asia-Pacific region.Read Full Report
The internationalisation of the timberland asset class has driven increasing focus on the extent to which currency risk influences returns. In this paper we attempt to quantify whether an internationally diversified timberland portfolio can provide lower volatility than a non-diversified one.Read Full Report
New Forests has published and updated this brief on the rationalisation of the Australian timber industry since 2010. In this version, published September 2014, following the sale of Gunns’ Tasmanian forestry estate, we find that nearly all of the MIS assets have transitioned to institutional ownership. The challenge now remains for managers to consolidate long-term assets as part of a renewed, more stable industry.Read Full Report
Responsible investment and sustainable management of land and natural resources are at the centre of New Forests' investment philosophy and corporate culture. We are committed to this management approach not only for risk management purposes but also because of commercial opportunities associated with innovative approaches to sustainable forestry management. In seeking to be a responsible investor, New Forests is committed to a set of principles and criteria that ensure our investments are aligned with the interests of the communities where we operate and with the needs of our clients.
New Forests has a Responsible Investment Policy and operates a company-wide Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS) designed to systematically identify, manage, and report on social and environmental issues and potential impacts of our investments. The SEMS ensures a consistent approach to social and environmental management across all investment activities and enables monitoring of performance, operational and management controls, and continual improvement. We report on our responsible investment activities through our annual sustainability reports and as a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment.
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