The Forestland Group has garnered a following among nonprofits in the timber space for its commitment to sustainable forestry. Timberland is becoming an increasingly important asset class as nonprofits look to real assets as a safe haven from the volatility of equity and fixed-income. There is also an increased awareness now for managers’ sustainability practices, putting TFG in a prime spot.
Timber managers typically grow and cut the timber themselves, and the firm distinguishes itself from its peers by focusing on sustainable forestry techniques. The manager is the only timber firm to have all of its investments certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, something particularly appreciated by its environmentally conscious endowment and foundation investors. And to top it off, during a difficult year for timber, which got crushed when the U.S. housing market collapse, TFG was down only slightly last year, outperforming competitors in the board room as well as in the forest.
The firm, run by a team of executives headed by Investment Committee Chairman Chris Zinkhan, was started in 1995 and received seed capital from Yale University. It has several nonprofit clients, including Amherst College and the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.