We cater for investors wanting returns from a sustainable real asset for themselves and their family.

Forest Enterprises is New Zealand’s leading full service forest management and investment services company. Since 1972, we have been helping people grow their wealth through affordable direct investments in some of New Zealand’s most exceptional radiata pine plantation forests. We expertly manage the forests from establishment to harvest.

Industry Leading Forest Investment

Forest Enterprises was established in 1972 in Masterton, New Zealand by Charles Wallis, an acknowledged pioneer of public investment in the New Zealand Radiata pine plantation forestry industry. In the five decades since then, we have continued to innovate in all aspects of the business.

During the early years, the portfolio of forests under management built up steadily allowing organised development of the infrastructure necessary to manage the field activity and administer the accounting and investor reporting responsibilities. In the last 25 years, the company has grown significantly.

In 1972, Forest Enterprises was the first company in New Zealand to introduce forestry as a public issue investment by providing the public with a direct ownership option for forestry investment.

Led by former Managing Director Steve Wilton in the 1990s, Forest Enterprises developed the professionalism of Forest Enterprises’ investments which has become a hallmark. We introduced major enhancements which opened the way for forestry to become an integral part of the investment portfolios of many New Zealanders, recommended by financial advisers. In 1993, Forest Enterprises was the first company in New Zealand to provide limited liability for investors by using a structure comprising partnerships of qualifying companies. At this time, Forest Enterprises was the first company in New Zealand to provide potential investors and financial advisors with independent research on our forestry investment product.

In service of our clients, we adopted a ‘fund manager’ philosophy and applied protections otherwise seen in mainstream investment funds, such as conducting annual financial audits, using a trustee company and giving investors control by being open and transparent with information. We created a secondary market to give investors the opportunity to sell before harvest, or to buy into an established forest investment. We were also the first public issue forestry investment company in New Zealand to start harvesting investor forests from those planted in the 1970s.

Keeping pace with regulatory change, in 2011 Forest Enterprises was the first company in New Zealand to utilise the more efficient Limited Partnership investment structure (the partnerships of qualifying companies investments have all migrated to this structure), retaining all-important features of our investments: investor control, tax efficiency and limited liability. And in 2018, following the introduction of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, we were the first company to promote second rotation forestry investments under the new financial markets regime.

In 2022, as we celebrated our 50th anniversary, we also celebrated that our Managed Investment Schemes became the first in New Zealand to receive Forest Stewardship Council® certification (FSC-C168647). FSC sets high international standards for responsible forest management and timber chain of custody. Such certification provides assurance to processors and consumers of wood products that the wood they are purchasing is sourced from sustainably managed forests. Learn more about our responsible forest management.

In 2022, we were also the first forestry investment manager to include income from both carbon and timber from a second-rotation forestry investment. 

Today, we manage 20,000+ hectares (52 Managed Investment Schemes), on behalf of more than 6,500 individual investors from throughout New Zealand and overseas.

The investor has always been at the heart of our business and we adopted a ‘fund manager’ philosophy early in service to our clients. We incorporated investor protections long before they were mandated for our industry, setting Forest Enterprises forestry investments apart. The processes and relationships we have in place are fine-tuned, robust and fit for the current regulatory environment.

Limited liability, control and protection
Forest Enterprises was the first forest investment company to use the Limited Partnership investment structure with its key investor benefits, and we still do. Importantly, the Limited Partnership structure provides the protection of limited liability, and it provides investors with decision making rights and control over your investment. As a registered Managed Investment Scheme (MIS), our Limited Partnerships have additional investor protections to those for equity investments and debt investments, such as Supervisor oversight and custodianship of the assets away from the manager.

Learn more about Limited Partnerships on our Investment Structure page.

Client communication
Core to our philosophy is being open and transparent with information. Our investors receive detailed Annual Investment Reports which include analysis of the last year’s expenditure to budget and set out the expenditure for the coming year. We also communicate throughout the life of each investment, providing an overview on the bigger picture of the forest’s development, its progress and any notable changes to the plan. When harvest is underway, investors receive regular Harvest Reports which review the operational and financial performance throughout their forest investment’s most active phase.

All investors receive biannual Investor Updates. Investors can also stay informed via our News page.

Offering liquidity
Investors’ circumstances change over time and therefore having the opportunity to sell a forestry investment is most important. This why we extend our clients a service whereby we co-ordinate an open tender process, matching willing sellers of established Forest Enterprises investments with willing buyers. We support this process with regularly updated indicative valuations and projections.

The total forestry investment package
Forest Enterprises is the only forest investment company which provides the total forestry investment package, with sales and marketing, forest management and field work plus investment administration under the one roof. We are a one stop shop. Investors have one convenient contact point, and being involved for the duration means we remain fully accountable to them from investment to harvest and can add value to every aspect of their forestry investment.

Economies of scale
The size of Forest Enterprises’ operation results in significant economies of scale which we pass on to our investors. As a manager of large harvest volumes we can negotiate favourable terms for securing essential infrastructure like log storage and export agreements. As a volume purchaser of trees, chemicals and contracting services we can achieve significant savings. As a major employer, we are able to offer continuity of work all year round, and we attract experienced reputable contractors. Our size also means we can afford professional levels of supervision, support equipment and personnel, both in the field and the office.

Learn more about how we manage our investments.

Forest Enterprises remains unique in operating marketing, administration and forestry business divisions, covering all activities relating to the investment. With significant harvest milestones approaching, our business is changing to ensure we can deliver the most profitable harvest outcome and also provide future options for Investors post-harvest.

Licensed MIS manager
An important recent change to our business was becoming a licensed manager of forestry Managed Investment Schemes (MIS Schemes) under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 on 3 October 2016. In order to offer and promote forestry investments in New Zealand as a public issue investment, now and into the future, this was critical.

Learn more about our role as a licensed manager here.

Our company structure
In preparation for becoming a licensed MIS manager, on 1 April 2015 we split Forest Enterprises into two companies to completely separate the MIS Scheme management activities from our other business activities.

Forest Enterprises Limited (FEL) remains the manager of our clients’ investments and is now focused exclusively on this management responsibility (and is the licensed manager). Its parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited (FEG) undertakes all other activities, including the forestry and harvesting services for FEL. From an investor perspective, we are still Forest Enterprises.

Forest Enterprises has always seen its role as ‘standing in the shoes of the investor’. Our investor-focused business philosophy is reinforced in the restructure because the separate governance structure of FEL (the MIS Scheme manager) creates an additional level of scrutiny ensuring the philosophy is being applied.

Learn more about the Forest Enterprises restructure.

Future leaders
Securing the future for our existing and new investors relies on Forest Enterprises’ stability and continuity as a company. Forest Enterprises succession strategy involved major shareholder Steve Wilton progressively selling down his shareholding and diversifying the leadership in the years until his retirement in 2018.

Bert Hughes and Graeme Tindall started the process by becoming shareholders and Directors in 2012 (followed by Gordon Wong in 2015). They have assumed key leadership roles at Forest Enterprises, following former Managing Director Steve Wilton’s retirement in 2018. Bert is Chief Executive Officer as well as Forestry Director, and our largest shareholder. Graeme is Managed Investments Director and Chair of Forest Enterprises Limited.

On 1 April 2016, Southern North Island Regional Manager Malte Coulmann became Forest Enterprises’ youngest shareholder.

In February 2016, we began the significant harvesting programme of our investors’ Gisborne forests established in the 1990s. The harvest volumes from our Gisborne harvest programme are expected to reach 700,000 tonnes a year for several years. This prompted the appointment of harvest specialist Dan Fraser to the new role of Gisborne Regional Manager in August 2017. Dan became a Forest Enterprises shareholder on 1 April 2018.

Group Finance Manager Liz Brown became a shareholder in December 2021 after five years with the business. Liz has been instrumental in helping Forest Enterprises meet the demands of our expanding forest and harvest management business. In April 2023, Harvest Operations Manager Tom Otterson joined the shareholder group.

Read more about our team here.

Aligned with our investor-focused philosophy and being ready for growth is a commitment to professionalism, to attracting and growing talent, and to strong partnerships.

Forest Enterprises is a team of professionals; most are based at our head office in Masterton including our finance, administration and client service teams, plus we have a team of four based in Gisborne and a manager in Hawke’s Bay. Many more contract field staff work alongside our forestry team, and additionally as required, professional services providers are engaged to provide specific support and expertise, such as legal, accounting, surveying, valuation and log marketing.

Our six executive directors lead our growth strategy from within the business. Forest Enterprises is the only forest investment company which has a diverse ownership across the key executives in the business, and which has a Chartered Director, Chartered Accountant and a registered solicitor on staff (all of whom are directors). Plus, we are the only forestry investment company with New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF) Registered Forestry Consultants in the ownership structure. Learn more about NZIF here.

Meet the team.

Our Business Partners

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