We develop and manage fully integrated, globally diversified, sustainable timberland portfolios that capitalize on our size and strong regional relationships for the benefit of our clients. Operating as Hancock Natural Resource Group, a Manulife Investment Management company, we’re the world’s largest global timberland investment managers for institutional investors, managing timberland across the United States and in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Chile.


We seek to invest in global timber assets to build risk-efficient portfolios across tree species, age classes, and end products.. We apply our extensive experience managing investments to drive complex acquisitions and achieve wholesale discounts. Our global research teams provide proprietary sector and asset class analysis to support our active portfolio management.

Our integrated property management reduces costs, enhances alignment of interests, seeks ways to optimize land, and ensures that commitment to sustainability carries through from investment strategy development to on-the-ground strategy execution.

As a steward of forest holdings, we’re committed to conducting all of our business activities in a manner that preserves and enhances the quality of our environment and local communities, empowers our people, and provides market-rate returns for our clients. We manage our assets as good stewards of the land, the environment, and the community on behalf of our investors. 

For more information, visit hancocknaturalresourcegroup.com.

Managed by

William E. Peressini

President and CEO, Hancock Natural Resource Group

Bill is responsible for the overall management of Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) and works closely with the executive team in carrying out those responsibilities. In August 2015, he was elected an HNRG board director. Prior to becoming CEO, Bill was the president and CFO of HNRG, a role in which he was responsible for the financial management of the firm, its subsidiaries and investment entities, the accounting and reporting of client investments, information systems, human resources, and administration. Bill joined HNRG in 2011 and has been involved in all of its major strategic growth initiatives, such as the acquisition of Farmland Management Services and the formation of Hancock Farmland Services. Prior to joining HNRG, he held senior management positions at Stimson Lumber, a privately held, integrated forest products company, and at PacifiCorp, an energy and telecommunications company.

  • Education: B.S. in Business, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; M.B.A., DePaul University
  • Joined the company: 2011
  • Began career: 1978 
William E. Peressini

Thomas G. Sarno

Global Head of Timber Investments

Tom is responsible for the firm’s institutional timber investment program, including investment underwriting and portfolio management, acquisitions and dispositions, resource planning and analysis, client account management, economic research, and property management. Previously, he served as global head of timberland and farmland operations, where he developed and led large-scale, integrated, investor-owned, and third-party forestry property management platforms. 

Prior to that, he served as director of global timber operations. Tom has also served as senior portfolio manager, where he was responsible for account management and portfolio development for individually managed timber accounts, as well as pooled investment vehicles; and general manager, Southern Division and Mid-Atlantic region manager. In those roles, he led a team responsible for asset management, stewardship, and fiduciary oversight for managed assets in the South and Northeastern United States. Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Tom was a procurement manager for International Paper’s Pensacola paper mill and McDavid sawmill enterprise. Among other roles, he served as forest operations manager as well as forest analyst for Champion International Corporation.

  • Education: B.S. with honors, in Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida
  • Joined the company: 2004
  • Began career: 1995
Thomas G. Sarno

Key facts

  • Inception date


  • Strategy AUM (USD)


  • Category

    Private markets

  • ESG

    471,098 acres of sensitive lands protected

ESG statistics are as of December 31, 2019. All other information shown is as of December 31, 2020, unless otherwise indicated. Strategy-level information may differ from vehicle-specific information. Not all vehicles are available in all locations.

Data includes assets managed by Manulife Investment Management and its affiliates on behalf of Manulife’s Canadian and U.S. General Accounts and also certain third-party investors. AUM of Hancock Timber Resource Group, an operating division of Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc., managed on a discretionary and non discretionary basis for the General Account, its affiliates and third party clients. Investment opportunities are offered to institutional investors through Hancock Natural Resource Group. 


Timberland and farmland: real assets with complementary investment attributes

See how timberland and farmland investment strategies widen the investable universe and increase the opportunity set.
Read more

Timberland investing and the promise of carbon markets

Timberland investing has long been hailed as a portfolio diversifier with attractive risk/return characteristics. Now there’s another reason to lean in—see why.
Read more