UK timberland fund aimed at global pension funds

first_img“Timber prices are expected to increase globally due to rising demand in the developing world, and to constrained supply as illegal logging becomes better policed.“Meanwhile, UK timberland is an ethical investment, as all FIM-managed forests are certified as 100% sustainable.”The new fund will offer a combination of long-term capital growth and income, with an annual distribution of 1-2% of capital invested.Crosbie Dawson said the fund would select high-yield assets well located for timber markets, with good infrastructure and unconstrained access.Assets will also be selected on their potential for ‘higher and better use’ (HBU), particularly in relation to wind farms.The fund will own the timberland – i.e. the trees plus the land on which they grow.FIM will acquire commercial plantations within the UK, which consist primarily of Sitka spruce – the fastest-growing conifer in the UK – and with the largest number of end-uses.Plantations will be located mainly in Scotland and Wales, the wettest parts of the UK, where the trees grow the quickest.Trees are harvested when they are between 30 and 50 years old, giving the owner flexibility in the timing of harvesting and the ability to secure the optimum timber price.No UK corporation tax is payable on the sale of the timber, and there is no capital gains tax on the increase in value of the timber.FIM, which has more than £500m under management, also runs two funds for retail investors – FIM Forest Fund I and FIM Sustainable Timber and Energy – with £63m and £99m, respectively, under management.The company also manages several funds investing in onshore wind farms.Crosbie Dawson said that although a substantial portion of the fund’s assets would be invested in Scotland, it was unlikely to be affected by a potential vote in favour of Scottish independence.“The regulator – Forestry Commission Scotland – is already an independent entity, so there should be no regulatory changes,” he said.“The tax treatment might change, but the forestry sector is an economic success story in Scotland, employing 40,000 people in rural areas, so we are of the opinion politicians will not want to implement any policies that might have a negative effect.” FIM Services, the UK-based forestry and renewable energy investment manager, has launched its first institutional fund, the FIM UK Timberland Fund, with an initial target of £100m (€125m) to be raised from a number of cornerstone investors, including pension funds worldwide.The fund is intended to give institutions the chance to invest in high-quality, well-located commercial plantations, taking advantage of current opportunities FIM has in the pipeline.Anthony Crosbie Dawson, forestry portfolio manager at FIM, said timberland was an attractive asset for pension funds to consider because it had no correlation with equities, and served as a hedge against inflation.“Furthermore,” he added, “forestry gives strong returns underpinned by biological growth.last_img read more

UN-FOUR-GETTABLE: Syracuse returns to Final Four for first time in 10 years with 55-39 victory over Marquette

first_img Related Stories Gallery: Syracuse defeats Marquette to advance to Final Four in AtlantaSyracuse zone proves unbeatable again as Marquette suffers miserable shooting night in Elite EightCarter-Williams propels Syracuse past Marquette, into Final Four with all-around performanceFans at Chuck’s go wild; Seniors reflect on Orange’s advance to the Final FourComstock, Walnut avenues fill with students celebrating, dancing on truck following Syracuse win Published on March 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm Contact Chris: | @chris_iseman WASHINGTON — On the same court where Syracuse’s season seemed to come apart, where its confidence reached its lowest point and where its future looked grim, the Orange punctuated a remarkable turnaround by earning a trip to the Final Four.As soon as the final buzzer sounded, ending its 55-39 win over Marquette, euphoria swept up Syracuse as it fell into a wild celebration near the sideline. The players put on their white “Final Four” T-shirts and black “Final Four” caps, and one by one, they climbed the ladder underneath the basket, each clipping away pieces of the net before head coach Jim Boeheim took care of the rest.With each step up that ladder, with each clip of the net, concerns about this team’s ability never seemed so distant.“These guys have come a long way from three weeks ago,” Boeheim said. “Today, someone reminded me we were here for another game and it’s been a great transformation in that period.”Syracuse befuddled Marquette with a zone defense that’s leaving good shooting teams frustrated and hopeless. With this win, the Orange took the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament, erased any lingering doubts, affirmed itself as one of the nation’s best and for the first time in 10 years, advanced to the Final Four. The Orange held the Golden Eagles, who beat Syracuse 74-71 in Milwaukee on Feb. 25, to a paltry 22.6 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from the arc.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMichael Carter-Williams was brilliant again, scoring 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting. James Southerland had 16 points and hit three 3-pointers.The game was never seriously in doubt, but much of Syracuse’s season once was.Exactly three weeks ago, the Orange lost to Georgetown 61-39 on the same Verizon Center floor. Its offense was nonexistent. An early end to the postseason seemed inevitable.It was the Orange’s lowest point, which closed a 1-4 end to the regular season.Boeheim had to remind his players of how good they were. Those same players had to find another level of toughness, grit and perhaps most importantly, confidence.They found it.“It’s pretty much a 180,” guard Brandon Triche said. “After losing so many games in a row, we stayed positive, but you can’t say we didn’t lose confidence. We were probably unsure of ourselves a bit.”Since then, Syracuse has lost only one game, and that was in the Big East tournament finals against Louisville, which pulled off a 16-point comeback in the second half to earn the win. Other than that half, the Orange has been dominant.It’s rolled through the NCAA Tournament. With its stymieing 2-3 zone, it’s made teams that can normally score efficiently into teams that can’t find a good shot.Marquette was Syracuse’s latest victim. The Orange forced its arms into the passing lanes, intercepting passes and disrupting shot attempts. Syracuse ended up finishing with 19 points off of turnovers on a night when it looked simply unbeatable.“We were as active these two games here in Washington as we’ve ever been, and I just really can’t say enough about how good these guys played on the defensive end of the court,” Boeheim said. “They were just tremendous.”By the time Southerland nailed a deep 3-pointer with 2:23 left against Marquette, the celebration had already begun.Emotions swelled throughout the pro-Orange crowd. Syracuse’s players on the bench rose to their feet. With about a minute left in the game, Boeheim, normally stoic on the sideline, cracked a wide smile.When the game’s final second ticked off of the clock, those smiles never faded. The players walked to the side of the court, in front of their families and fans, and flapped their jerseys. On the stage where Syracuse was presented with the East Region trophy, Boeheim and his assistant Mike Hopkins hugged.Chants of “Let’s go, Orange” and “Jim-my Boe-heim” rained down on the court.After the way the Orange finished the regular season 1-4, after the way it struggled to make shots for much of the season, this was a dream-like scene.But those losses and those struggles might have been for the best for Syracuse, forward C.J. Fair said.“When you’re losing, it brings the team together,” Fair said. “It’s going to make or break the team. I think it made us.”It made Syracuse into a dominant tournament team. It made Syracuse into a nightmare to play against.And on the very court where the Orange looked disoriented three weeks ago, it made Syracuse into a member of the Final Four.Concerns never seemed so far away. A championship has never seemed so close.“We can’t wait,” Carter-Williams said. “It’s going to be a fun weekend in Atlanta.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more