Continues expansion of TIAA-CREF Asset Management’s alternative investment platform
New York, June 5, 2015 — TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider, and GreenWood Resources (GWR), a global timber management company and subsidiary of TIAA-CREF, today announced the close of Global Timber Resources LLC (GTRCo), a $667 million global timber company.
GTRCo is a new company designed to invest in timberland assets across multiple geographies, including North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. It is principally focused on the development and management of sustainable plantation forestry assets to supply growing worldwide demand for wood and forestry products. The company has capital commitments from several investors including the TIAA General Account and international institutions such as Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Caisse), AP2 and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, among others.
The new company adds to TIAA-CREF’s expanding global asset management platform that includes TIAA-CREF Asset Management which provides investment management services covering a wide range of domestic and international strategies, including equities, fixed income, real estate and real assets to individual and institutional investors through its subsidiaries.
"We believe the macroeconomic fundamentals for timber investment are strong and see great potential for direct investment in emerging economies where we can benefit from low cost production and better proximity to growing demand," said Jose Minaya, senior managing director and Head of Private Markets Asset Management, TIAA-CREF Asset Management. "We are excited about the relationship forged with our timberland investors and look forward to a high level of collaboration as we seek to achieve our investment goals."
GreenWood Resources will manage the new company’s portfolio of timber assets. TIAA-CREF acquired majority ownership of GWR in 2012. GWR develops and manages sustainable tree farms in targeted regions and has a vertically integrated management group with professionals in investment and financial management, improved plant material strategies, and day-to-day forestry operations. The company, a holding of TIAA-CREF Asset Management, manages approximately $950 million in assets for institutional investors, which includes the $667 million of capital committed to GTRCo.
"We are honored by the number of leading institutional investors who have made commitments to GTRCo, all of whom share our long-standing commitment to sustainable management of forestry assets," said Jeff Nuss, president and chief executive officer of GreenWood Resources. "We believe there are many compelling reasons today for investing in a globally diversified portfolio of forestry assets and are very excited about the attractive new opportunities that we can bring to our investment partners."
TIAA-CREF has been investing in timberland since 1998 and manages a portfolio of over $2 billion in timber assets around the world. Today’s announcement builds on TIAA-CREF Asset Management’s $124 billion alternative investment platform focused on real estate, farmland, timber, infrastructure, energy, private equity and commodities. These investment platforms are each overseen by dedicated teams of specialty investment managers within its affiliates, giving TIAA-CREF Asset Management and its clients ready access to a wide range of real asset and private investment opportunities around the world.
"Real assets are attractive to institutional investors, for both their diversification benefits and their ability to generate income," said John Panagakis, Head of Asset Management Business Development for TIAA-CREF. "We are gratified to partner with and invest alongside like-minded institutions that share our long-term investment horizon and commitment to responsible investing."
TIAA-CREF and GWR are committed to sustainable investment practices and utilize best practices espoused by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which call for high social and environmental standards. TIAA-CREF is also a founding member of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Farmland, a group of international institutional investors that launched farmland principles in September 2011. These principles aim to improve sustainability, transparency and accountability of investments in farmland. TIAA-CREF is also a signatory to the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment. TIAA-CREF and its affiliates also have deep experience investing in real assets broadly, managing over $11 billion in agriculture, timber, energy, infrastructure, and other related investments.
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa.org) is a national financial services organization with $866 billion in total assets under management (as of 3.31.15) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.
About TIAA-CREF Asset Management
TIAA-CREF Asset Management (www.tiaa-cref.org/public/assetmanagement) is part of the TIAA-CREF group of companies and provides investment advice and portfolio management services to individual investors, intermediaries and institutional clients through its subsidiaries. Its strategies cover a wide array of global asset classes, including equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative investments.
About GreenWood Resources
Founded in 1998, GreenWood Resources, Inc. (GWR) is an integrated global investment and property management company with approximately $950 million focused on the development and management of forestry assets in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. GWR’s core competencies in capital management, deployment of tree improvement methodologies and improved plant material, on-the-ground forestry operations and sales and marketing uniquely address the broad skills required to seek appropriate risk-adjusted returns for investments into intensively managed globally diversified forestry assets. ( www.greenwoodresources.com )