Creating value through the sustainable management of agriculture assets
Agriculture investments have a long history of generating strong financial results. The low correlation of farmland returns with the returns of other classes means that farmland can provide diversification benefits within investor portfolios. Farmland investments may also offer moderate inflation protection.
As a nature-based solution, farmland can provide positive social and environmental benefits by sequestering carbon, maintaining biodiversity, and contributing to rural economic vitality. As the global population grows, demand for food and fiber is expected to increase. Investors can capitalize on this trend while also benefiting from opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change.
What sets us apart?
As a leading, fully integrated agriculture investment manager,¹ our experience, size, and scale allow us to access a wider array of markets, reduce operating risk, and provide low-cost, high-quality asset management. As a responsible steward of farmland, we produce sustainable food and fiber, and seek to operate in a way that improves the environment, nourishes communities, empowers our people, and delivers performance for our clients.
Rooted in sustainability
Our commitment to sustainability and responsible investing has been a core guiding principle embedded in our strategy and operations since the inception of our business.
Our operating history demonstrates that scale may provide enhanced acquisition access, production efficiencies, cost savings, innovation, and revenue enhancement opportunities.
Integrated property management
Integrating property management with our business reduces costs and ensures that our commitment to sustainability is carried through from strategy to execution.
Focus on performance
Our agriculture investment program has provided competitive performance since inception.
Our research capabilities inform our investable universe, underpin our investment strategy, and support portfolio management decisions.
1 Manulife Investment Management’s agricultural investment group was ranked #2 out of the top 30 agriculture investors by AUM according to the Global AgInvesting Rankings and Trends Report 2019. We can provide a copy of this report on request. Our agriculture team employs a fully integrated investment and property management model where numerous individuals throughout the organization contribute to the overall management and monitoring of its investments.
As of November 15, 2021, Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc. renamed to Manulife Investment Management Timberland and Agriculture Inc.
Committed to sustainable investing
Agriculture provides investors with an opportunity to invest in assets that contribute to solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges, including climate change, nature loss, water scarcity, and rising inequality. We strive to play a positive role in confronting these global challenges, through our long-term investments in agriculture, and in the surrounding rural communities.Read about our approach to sustainability
We conduct our business activities in a manner that recognizes the need to preserve and enhance the quality of our environment and local communities.
Working collaboratively with industry peers and nonprofit organizations, we developed an industrywide sustainability standard for agriculture, Leading Harvest. To date, 100% of our U.S. farmland is certified to the Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard.2
We manage agriculture investments to achieve key priorities of our sustainability and responsible investing program, sustainably managing the resources entrusted to us and supporting climate change mitigation across our farmland.
2 As of May 17, 2021. Includes both third-party leased and directly operated assets. Oliver Williams, global head of agriculture, is current chair of the Board of Directors for Leading Harvest. For more information on Leading Harvest, please see https://www.leadingharvest.org/about.
Click here to read our recent annual sustainability and responsible investing report that includes our performance against metrics aligned with each of our five key sustainability and responsible investing priorities as well as other external standards, such as the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and third-party certification system objectives.
Our recent annual sustainability and responsible investing report includes our performance against metrics aligned with each of our five key SRI priorities as well as other external standards, such as the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and third-party certification system objectives.Read the report
Certifications, memberships, and selected affiliations
All logos are registered trademarks of the respective organizations/firms represented.
Our diversified portfolio
Our global, high-quality, diversified agriculture portfolio includes annual and permanent crops along with farmland plus integrated processing operations. We offer investors the ability to invest in portfolios diversified by crop type, geography, and management style as well as portfolios that target a particular region or market segment.
Annual row crops
Replanted every year, they’re generally priced comparably across the globe. They may include commodity corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, rice, or specialty crops such as vegetables.
Perennial permanent crops
Higher-value niche crops that grow on a tree or vine, which vary in pricing by location—and where best management practices can enhance value. They may include tree nuts, cranberries, apples, citrus, or blueberries.
Farmland plus agriculture assets
Integrated processing operations
Operations may include value chain integration focused on processing, storage, packaging, and marketing various agriculture commodities.
These assets may include vertically integrated permanent crop operations or indoor growth spaces.
Focused on optimizing the performance of diversified agriculture portfolios through the integration of our property and portfolio-level expertise.
Oliver is responsible for the overall direction and growth of Manulife Investment Management’s institutional agriculture investment program. He’s a member of the senior management team for the firm’s timberland and agriculture businesses and serves on the executive committee. He also leads the farmland management team, serves on the farmland investment committee, and chairs company boards for the firm’s Australian investment vehicles. Previously, Oliver headed the farmland asset management function. Prior to joining the firm in 1997, he spent five years with First Pioneer Farm Credit, where he was responsible for evaluating and appraising farmland and farm businesses for potential loans. Oliver holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the Association for Investment Management and Research, and the Boston Security Analysts Society.
- Education: B.S., Agricultural Economics, Cornell University
- Joined the company: 1997
- Began career: 1997
Rick is responsible for the development of new investment strategies and growth initiatives, client investment governance, and identifying and mitigating risk exposures related to the firm’s agricultural investment process, products, and client investments. He’s a member of the natural resource investment committee and investment strategy committee and is also directly involved with business development activities, structuring investment management agreements, and designing client investment goals and constraints. Rick previously led the farmland plus investment team, the client account management team, and the investment underwriting function. Prior to joining the company in 2011, he worked in financial strategy for Forest Systems Management Company. Rick holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Society Boston.
- Education: B.A., English and Philosophy, Providence College; M.B.A., University of Connecticut
- Joined the company: 2011
- Began career: 2005
Our agriculture strategy invests in global core and core-plus farmland assets through, open-ended or closed-end commingled funds for the benefit of institutional investors. Individually managed accounts tailored to meet investor needs are also available.
Individual accounts can offer investors a greater level of control over the strategies employed to meet their objectives and constraints. Individual accounts allow for portfolios to be tailored to meet investor-specific levels of risk tolerance, return targets, diversification, and cash flow needs but require a much larger capital contribution.
A commingled fund—open or closed-ended—can offer investors access to a broadly diversified portfolio at lower levels of invested capital than could be attained by investing directly, but the commingled structure offers less individual investor control than an individual account. An open-ended portfolio allows investors to buy into an existing asset base.
2020 Leading Harvest Audit Summary Report: Direct Operated Properties 2020 Leading Harvest Audit Summary Report: Tenant Operated Properties 2020 Agriculture GHG Verification 2020 Climate Report Sustainable and responsible investing framework Zero-deforestation policy Materiality assessment report Carbon principles: a high-integrity climate benefit methodology
Our sustainability policies and disclosures for timberland and agriculture
April 13, 2022
March 24, 2022
March 4, 2022
From farm to fork: overcoming supply chain vulnerabilities with agriculture infrastructure innovations
Julie Koeninger, CFA
Managing Director, Business Development, Agriculture