Agriculture investment

Creating value through the sustainable management of agriculture assets

Why agriculture?

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.

  • Global scale

    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.

  • Proprietary research

    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’re committed

    We conduct our business activities in a manner that recognizes the need to preserve and enhance the quality of our environment and local communities.


  • We’re credible

    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’re accountable

    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

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. 

Annual sustainability and responsible investing report

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


  1. Leading Harvest³

  2. Global Impact Investing Network⁴

  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)⁵

  4. PRI⁶

  5. World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)⁷

All logos are registered trademarks of the respective organizations/firms represented.

3 Leading Harvest4 Global Impact Investing NetworkMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)PRIWorld Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

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.

Farmland assets

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. 

Data as of March 31, 2022. Portfolio snapshot chart displays agriculture assets under management as a percentage of final market value ($4.1B) by crop for Q1 2022. Totals may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

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.

Our team

Focused on optimizing the performance of diversified agriculture portfolios through the integration of our property and portfolio-level expertise.

Oliver S. Williams IV, CFA

Global Head of Agriculture Investments

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
Oliver S. Williams IV, CFA

Richard Bodio, Jr., CFA

Managing Director, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Agriculture

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
Richard Bodio, Jr., CFA


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 

    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.

  • Commingled funds

    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.

Related viewpoints

Russia and Ukraine in crisis: implications for agricultural markets

See why Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine is likely to leave agriculture markets, including global grain and oilseed trading networks, vulnerable to shocks.
Read more

From farm to fork: overcoming supply chain vulnerabilities with agriculture infrastructure innovations

With global food supply chains facing vulnerabilities, we take a closer look at how innovations in agriculture infrastructure can offer a sustainable path forward while creating opportunities for investors along the way.
Read more

Contact us

  • Julie Koeninger, CFA

    Managing Director, Business Development, Agriculture

    +1 617-747-1559