(May 14 2012) GEOnomic Investing.
TIAA-CREF has completed fund raising for its agricultural investment company, and has raised $2 billion, adding to the list of investment offerings springing up in the agriculture sector.
Agriculture investments have traditionally been shunned due to their high capital requirements, volatility, and the specialized knowledge needed to profit in the sector; however, interest is piquing in the sector due to its ability to offer profits in a time when the rest of the market is perfoming anemically.
TIAA-CREF Global Agriculture LLC, was set up as a company instead of a fund, began investing in April 2011 and focuses on farmland in the United States, Australia and Brazil. So far, investors in the fund include pension funds of Sweden and Canada’s British Columbia and Quebec. The amount TIAA-CREF raised is among the largest dedicated to agricultural investments.
Some investment and hedge fund managers have set up closed-end funds with several millions to around $100 million in capital to capture the opportunity, but there are few large funds specifically dedicated to agriculture.
Ag Real Value Fund
Run by Teays River Investments LLC,e raised $478 million in July 2010, was the most recent large fund that invests specifically in the sector.
NCH Agribusiness Partners fund
According to Data provider Preqin sNCH Capital amassed $1.2 billion for its 2007 fund, the largest agriculture-specific fund.
Pharos Global Agriculture Fund
A Fund focused on acquiring and managing agricultural land holdings in the Americas, Australia and Eastern Europe. Targets annualized returns of 13-20% for investors through the acquisition of agricultural land, agricultural infrastructure assets and distressed or underperforming operational farm holdings.