The pool, which serves 11 LGPS funds in England, has appointed Stafford Capital Partners and JP Morgan Asset Management to the new mandates, worth a combined £300 million. The investment has been sourced from two member funds that had not previously invested in the asset class.

The managers will oversee two mandates, one “core” and one “impact”, according to a press release from the ACCESS pool.

The core mandate is a combination of the two managers’ core approaches. Stafford’s global timber investment strategy invests in “operational, yielding timberland estates, accessing investments primarily through off-market secondary transactions”.

JP Morgan’s dedicated timber and forestry investment subsidiary Campbell Global, meanwhile, targets “diversified exposure to core timberland assets around the word, while targeting a negative carbon footprint”.

The second mandate is an allocation to Stafford’s Carbon Offset Opportunity Fund, which is designed to set up and invest in new commercial timberland estates. As well as providing an investment return, the fund aims to also supply “high-quality carbon offsets”.

Councillor Mark Kemp-Gee, chair of the ACCESS Joint Committee, said: “We have been exploring ways to include natural capital investments in our portfolio as we continue to diversify our private markets allocation, while also moving closer to net zero targets.

“Timberland ticks all these boxes, and we are delighted to have chosen two market-leading investment partners in this field for the benefit of our partner funds and members.”

Angela Davis, president at Campbell Global, said: “Timberland and related carbon offsets are unique investments that will offer ACCESS members the ability to further diversify their portfolios while also supporting climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection.”

The mandates are the latest launches in what has been a busy year for the ACCESS pool. Earlier this month, it announced the launch of a long-lease property mandate run by Aviva Investors, with the Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire LGPS funds investing a combined £250 million.

In May, the Essex and Hampshire funds allocated a combined £1.3 billion to real estate funds run by CBRE Investment Management and facilitated by ACCESS.

 

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Published: June 27, 2024
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