James Bullen leads the operational management of New Forests’ assets in Southeast Asia. In this role, James works closely with portfolio companies and brings an emphasis on operational efficiency and technical rigour to his oversight of New Forests’ investments in the region. James has 17 years’ forest management and investment experience, including all aspects of the technical management of large, FSC-accredited forestry projects, including establishment, silviculture, harvesting, forest engineering, and marketing. James joined New Forests in 2008 and previously managed operations for the company’s investments in Australia and the Pacific islands. His diverse experience includes forestry operations and management roles in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, the United Kingdom, and the US. James has a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Geoffrey Seeto oversees New Forests’ timberland investment program in Southeast Asia, with 20 years’ experience in financial services, principally in private equity in the infrastructure, natural resources, and energy sectors. He is an experienced investor in the Asian region, having led, originated, and executed a wide range of transactions in various regulatory regimes. He has completed deals in Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and China. Outside of Asia, he has worked in North America, Europe, and Australia. Geoffrey was previously at KPMG, where he was Partner, Asia Infrastructure Markets. Geoffrey was also formerly Managing Director and Head of Investments for the China-ASEAN Investments Fund from 2009-2014 and has held senior positions investing in infrastructure for Babcock & Brown and ABN AMRO. Geoffrey has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney.
Oliver Somerville is responsible for the management information systems for New Forests’ forestry investments in tropical Asia and the Pacific, including for the Tropical Asia Forest Fund (TAFF). Oliver joined the New Forests Singapore office in 2014 and provides technical forestry, quantitative analysis, and modelling support for New Forests’ acquisitions and assets under management in Asia.
Oliver is a forest assessment specialist with 10 years of international project experience spanning Southeast Asia, China, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. He specialises in providing forest owners and investors ways to describe, model and value their forest assets – and to communicate this information clearly to stakeholders and clients. He has worked across transactional services, technical consulting and development, forest description development, biological asset modelling, and analysis. Prior to joining New Forests, Oliver worked in technical forestry consulting and for a leading resource information software provider to the industry in both the New Zealand and Singapore offices. Oliver has a Bachelor of Forest Science (Honours) from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Paul Speed is the co-portfolio manager for New Forests’ Southeast Asian forestry funds, He jointly oversees the team of forestry investment and operations professionals in the region. Paul’s experience spans over 20 years, including nine years in the Solomon Islands in direct plantation forestry management and then eight years international forest industry consulting. He specialises in forest due diligence, investment appraisal, and operational management. Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in Pure and Applied Biology and a Master of Science in Forestry from Oxford University. He is a full member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry, the Incorporated Society of Planters in Malaysia, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Janice Tay is responsible for managing all office and administration related duties for the Singapore office. Janice joined New Forests in 2013 with 10 years of human resource and secretarial experience. She is adept in all aspects of office administration and supports the Singapore team through business support services and travel coordination. Janice graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies (Human Resource Consulting) from Nanyang Technological University.
Marthe Tollenaar is responsible for environmental and social management of New Forests’ investments in Southeast Asia. This includes primary responsibility for supporting portfolio companies in compliance with IFC Performance Standards and FSC certification. In this role, Marthe assists the investee companies in the development of Social and Environmental Management Systems and works closely together with the local E&S teams. Marthe also focuses on ensuring that E&S issues are integrated into New Forests’ investment activities in the Asian region, supporting due diligence through operations. Marthe has more than five years of experience in E&S management in the forestry sector in emerging markets. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Amsterdam and a Master’s degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.