Having the right people on the team is essential to Forest Enterprises’ ability to deliver returns to our investors.

We are a small team of professionals, specialising in forestry, client services and financial administration. Our forestry team includes New Zealand Institute of Forestry Registered Forestry Consultants, plus, we have three qualified accountants on staff. Forest Enterprises is also one of very few forest investment companies that has legal expertise in-house.

Forest Enterprises is jointly owned and managed full-time by four executive directors who lead the company. Each has a depth of expertise and experience; each equally dedicated to their work and our clients.

Directors

Steve Wilton
Steve WiltonManaging Director
BBS

DDI +64 6 370 6367
Mob. +64 27 486 1560

Steve has been with Forest Enterprises since 1991 and has been Managing Director since 2000. He has been, and remains, instrumental in developing the unique professional investment product Forest Enterprises is known for, and for developing our investor-centric marketing and administration systems.

As Managing Director Steve is responsible for overseeing all Forest Enterprises activities across the two companies – Forest Enterprises Limited the licensed forest investment management company, and its parent Forest Enterprises Growth Limited the land and tree crop management company.

Steve is the major shareholder but is progressively selling down his shareholding to the other key executives to ensure business continuity and a committed team of professional experts across the breadth of the company’s activities.

Looking to the future, Steve notes the exciting challenge of harvesting the forests planted during the 1990s for a large number of the company’s current investors, and rolling the existing investments over to their second rotation with a mix of original investors, the families of the original investors, and new investors.

Steve also notes that the company is operating in a continually changing environment and must always remain responsive to change in regulation and meet the needs of an increasing investor appetite for forestry investment. Interest in professionally managed forestry investments is increasing because of its profitability, and because of its green credentials, operating as it does in a sustainable and environmentally positive industry sector.

Steve is a foundation member of the Forest Growers Levy Trust and was re-elected in 2015 to the Forest Growers Levy Trust Board. Masterton-born, Steve is married with two adult children and a grandfather of one. He lives on the outskirts of Masterton and in addition to family activities enjoys recreational cycling in his spare time.

Bert Hughes
Bert HughesForestry Director
NZIF Registered Forestry Consultant, NZCF, BBS

DDI +64 6 370 6361
Mob. +64 27 441 0535

Bert joined Forest Enterprises in 2010 to lead the expansion of the company’s forest management capability. Bert brought with him a depth and breadth of expertise from a 30-year forestry career, having held senior management and executive roles across the industry. Bert is a Forest Enterprises shareholder and Director.

Bert leads our team of professional foresters who are collectively responsible for the entire tree crop cycle from establishment to harvest, including all aspects of harvest operations including log sales and marketing, and all-important contractor management.

Bert’s focus is on understanding the market and getting our investors’ product as close to the buyer as possible.

“Although wood is a commodity product, we add value by understanding what the product is used for and how it is promoted to the end user. Therefore, our relationships with customers and marketing partners are critical to understanding cost and price, and managing risk. Investors must have faith in ultimate transparency of information, and our technical competency to make decisions and put good plans into action.

“My major responsibility as Director is to strike the balance between making our investors better off, the company better off and our land management better off. Forestry as an investment has a perpetual value and our role as Manager is to therefore protect the two assets – the cashflow and the residual value of the land.”

Bert is Past President of Marlborough Forest Industry Association and a founding trustee and Treasurer of the Southern North Island Wood Council. He manages his own forest estates on tranches of family land. Bert and his family live in Masterton and he enjoys, fishing, hunting, surfing, skiing and the great outdoors.

Graeme Tindall
Graeme TindallAccounting Director
BCA (Hons), CA

DDI +64 6 370 6363

We have just celebrated Graeme’s 20 year milestone with Forest Enterprises. He joined us in 1997 as a new Chartered Accountant, and became a shareholder and director in the company in 2012.

As Accounting Director, Graeme provides high-end oversight of the financial management, reporting and compliance for all 71 forest investments we manage and administer, and for our two companies – Forest Enterprises Limited the licensed forest investment management company, and its parent Forest Enterprises Growth Limited the land and tree crop management company. He is a professional member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Graeme is a very keen athlete and sports-person. He has been a Wairarapa representative lawn bowler, and in October 2016, Graeme became the thirteenth New Zealander to compete in 200 marathons!

Gordon Wong
Gordon WongLegal Services Director
LLM (Hons), Barrister and Solicitor

DDI +64 6 370 6915
Mob. +64 21 198 1558

Gordon became Forest Enterprises’ in-house lawyer in 2014, providing the expertise we required to respond to the new financial markets regime under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. Gordon is one of New Zealand’s most experienced lawyers in the forestry industry. He is also a specialist in financial markets law, legal risk management and the Emissions Trading Scheme. Gordon is a Forest Enterprises shareholder and Director.

Gordon had been a partner in private practice acting as Forest Enterprises’ lawyer for 22 years, and was part of every major legal milestone of our company. He notes it was a natural transition to join Forest Enterprises.

“I’m closer to the business, and to the investments themselves, than ever before. I have been a Forest Enterprises investor for 20 years so I can see things from the investor’s perspective. Building up strong knowledge of the forestry operation from within the company means that my legal advice is even more relevant, and it results in better quality documentation and advice for our investments.”

Gordon has a dual role. He is our in-house legal counsel, advising Forest Enterprises on the regulatory environment and the many statutes that we must comply with; and he provides legal advice to the investments, as he used to do in private practice.

“To the extent that we can liaise directly with the regulators, we do – as a licensed Manager it’s important to ensure we have full legal representation for ourselves and also for our MIS Schemes. This area of the law is very complex and our investors expect robust compliance.”

Gordon lives in Greytown during the week to be closer to our Masterton Office, rejoining his wife and adult children in Wellington city on weekends. In his spare time, he enjoys the gym, travel and the arts. Gordon is a licensed marriage celebrant.

John Sexton
John SextonIndependent Chair, Forest Enterprises Limited
OBE, FCA
John Sexton is the Independent Chair of the Board for Forest Enterprises Limited (FEL), the licensed manager of forestry MIS Schemes.

The board of FEL is the oversight body in respect of FEL’s compliance with its obligations as a market services licensee. The key position from the perspective of these responsibilities is that of the Independent Chair. The Chair’s role is to provide leadership to the Board in support of its strategic and governance oversight of FEL. He also ensures the Executive Directors maintain their high performance standards in the best interests of the investors.

Being independent means that John has no shareholding in either FEL or its parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited, nor is he a company executive. This enables him to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities as Chair without bias. He has been the Independent Chair of FEL since 2008.

John’s business, Sexton Business Builders Limited, is a boutique chartered accountancy practice focused on governance, business advice, planning and financing for SMEs. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, and a professional member of New Zealand Institute of Directors and New Zealand Institute of Management.

John received an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Civil Division) in 1993 for services to the disabled, having been involved with CCS Disability Action from 1971-1992 (and National Chair 1988-92). He lives in Masterton and is actively involved in governance and business advisory roles in the region.

Team

Merv Jones
Merv JonesCustomer Services Manager
GradDipBusStuds, NZCE (Civil)

DDI +64 6 370 6368
Mob. +64 27 486 1561

As Customer Services Manager, Merv is most often the primary contact for Forest Enterprises’ investors.

From his 25+ years with Forest Enterprises, Merv has a deep understanding of our business and our product, but most importantly of the needs of clients throughout all stages of their forestry investment. Merv and his wife are forestry investors; this perspective combined with his experience means he is an invaluable resource for our staff and clients alike.

Merv is responsible for our secondary market, facilitating the sale and transfer of established Forest Enterprises investments between new and existing clients. He is driven by providing exceptional customer service to Forest Enterprises’ 6,400+ customers, and recognises that our accountability as Investment Manager is first and foremost to them.

“I enjoy my role and look forward to coming to work each day. While our forestry investment product is fundamentally the same, our business now has even greater focus on compliance, and I like being in a position where I can help clients with some of the intricacies of our investments. One of the highlights of my job is talking with customers about their investments, either by phone, during forest visits or even on some occasions during my overseas travels!”

Merv joined Forest Enterprises in 1992 after 15 years in the Civil Engineering profession and five years as National Sales Manager for a manufacturing company. He is originally from Wellington and is married with three adult children and eight grandchildren. He has his scuba diving ticket, enjoys sailing, bush walking and travelling. Cycling the Otago Rail Trail with friends in 2016 was the start of a new adventure. Merv is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church.

Malte Coulmann
Malte CoulmannForest Estate Manager
NZIF Registered Forestry Consultant, BForSc (Hons)

DDI +64 6 370 6362
Mob. +64 27 510 6601

Malte has been in the business since 2011 and became Forest Enterprises’ newest shareholder in April 2016.

Malte’s responsibility is to maximise the value of the tree crop. This is achieved by ensuring that forest operations, such as pruning and thinning, happen at the right time and to the highest standard. Malte and his team also manage the technical side of forestry which includes mapping, database management, inventory and modelling. The collection and management of quality data is essential to making the right decisions.

“Forestry is a dynamic investment offering good natural growth but with many environmental challenges, so attention to detail and working to achieve the full potential of the site is paramount. Growing trees is a science and every site is different. We have only one chance to get it right, which is why we need a range of approaches to create maximum value for our investors. Watching a well-tended forest grow is very satisfying.”

Malte grew up in the Wellington region but an early passion for forestry took him to the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury. Operational roles in Canterbury and Southland followed, before returning to the North Island and taking up his position at Forest Enterprises.

In 2015, Malte joined the Board of the Wairarapa Rural Fire District and recently oversaw its transition under the new regime of Fire & Emergency New Zealand. Malte hunts, dives and fishes as often as he can, and lives in Masterton with his fiancé Nikki.

Dan Fraser
Dan FraserGisborne Regional Manager
NZCF

Mob. +64 21 867 900

Dan joined us in August 2017 in this new senior executive role based in Gisborne. The major harvest programme of our 10,000ha Gisborne estate commenced early 2016, and as our harvest volumes continue to grow, having a Regional Manager available on site in Gisborne enhances the support and management of our estate locally.

Dan is responsible for ensuring our investors’ forests in Gisborne are harvest-ready, and for managing their harvest. Dan is co-located with our strategic partner Logic Forest Solutions (our Gisborne Forest Supervisor). He will ensure that forestry and harvesting operations are coordinated and optimised across our Gisborne estate.

Dan has a 26-year professional forestry career, and has extensive knowledge of the harvesting industry. For the last 15 years, Dan has worked for a local corporate forest owner where he managed their harvest planning, harvesting and engineering teams, and together built their harvest from zero to 800,000 tonne per annum, from ‘stump to port’.

Dan and his wife have a lifestyle block located on the fertile Gisborne flats, where in their spare time they enjoy developing the property and growing avocados. They maintain common interests with their 3 adult children and together are frequently hunting, tramping, camping and generally enjoying the great outdoors offered in Gisborne.

Dan is based at our Gisborne regional office at 44-46 Childers Road, Gisborne 4010.

Mark Allan
Mark AllanCompliance & Systems Manager
CA, BCom

DDI +64 6 370 6917

Mark manages Forest Enterprises Limited’s (FEL) compliance programme. He joined us in 2016 to take on this important role.

The focus of Mark’s role is on that of our investment management business. He develops and oversees robust systems and processes for protecting our clients’ investments, and for ensuring they comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Mark is also a member of the Executive, working with the shareholders on the performance of both FEL and its parent company Forest Enterprises Growth Limited.

“Forest Enterprises’ track record for providing investors with exposure to high-quality managed forestry investments is second to none. Investors can rely on Forest Enterprises’ commitment to quality, and be assured by the controls and processes in place to protect investor interest. Forest Enterprises’ east coast forestry investments are a compelling land-based investment due to fast tree growth rates, and short land transport distances to ports.”

Mark is a Chartered Accountant. His career started as an auditor, and he went on to work in large, multinational financial services corporations while in London. Mark is a businessman in his own right, living on a small working vineyard on the outskirts of Masterton with his three school-aged children.

Nikki Burns
Nikki BurnsMarketing Manager
BPR&TM

DDI +64 6 370 6916
Mob. +64 27 55 44 325

Nikki joined Forest Enterprises in July 2015 to support the company to revitalise its marketing programme.

Nikki has implemented Forest Enterprises’ brand refresh and replacement website. She works closely with Steve, Mark and Merv in the ongoing development of investor communications in service of our existing client base. Nikki will also be responsible for the promotion of Forest Enterprises’ second rotation forestry investments as they are released to the next generation of forestry investors.

“Forest Enterprises has a remarkable product and remarkable people, both treated with professionalism, integrity and open communication. The focus of staff here is truly on the investor and the care taken when managing client affairs is something other companies can only aspire to. This is the legacy that Steve Wilton has carved out for our current and future leaders. It’s an exciting time here.”

Nikki has held marketing and business development roles in a range of industries including big four accounting firms, economic development, hospitality and tourism. She is currently on the board of Destination Wairarapa and provides volunteer support to two Wairarapa-based arts organisations. Nikki and her fiancé Malte live in Masterton on one hectare with two dogs and five sheep.

Julie-Anne Simmonds
Julie-Anne SimmondsExecutive Assistant
DDI +64 6 370 6912
Julie-Anne works across our business in the key role of Executive Assistant. Julie-Anne supports all Forest Enterprises staff to maintain our high standards of record keeping, document presentation and detail integral to our role and responsibility as a licensed investment manager. She joined Forest Enterprises in 2012.

Julie-Anne provides executive support to our Directors and the Executive Committee, and works most closely with Steve. As the keeper of our collective ‘body of knowledge’, Julie-Anne is responsible for our physical and digital record keeping, maintaining our internal contracts register, register of insurances and renewal scheduling, all Companies Office administration (for our own companies plus all investments), and administering our important compliance documentation.

As an extension of the client services team, Julie-Anne is responsible for the production and coordination of all client correspondence, and supports Merv with routine client enquiries. She is also a vital administrative resource for our forestry team.

Julie-Anne completed a Legal Executive Diploma prior to having her two children (now school age) and is 9 subjects into a Bachelor of Business extramurally through the Open Polytechnic. In her ‘spare time’, Julie-Anne is a tireless Scout Leader at Lansdowne Scout Group in Masterton. She enjoys spending time with her children and extended family, fishing, reading, camping, tramping and playing sport.

Joaquin Gomez Penate
Joaquin Gomez PenateHarvesting Forester
BForSc

Mob. +64 27 562 7254

Joaquin joined Forest Enterprises in the field-based operational role of Harvesting Forester in May 2017. He works most closely with Bert on forward harvest planning, crew scheduling and managing contractor performance.

Joaquin is responsible for supervising our Wairarapa-based harvesting crews, ensuring they have the information and conditions required to be as productive as possible while meeting Health & Safety, environmental and quality commitments. He similarly supervises road construction and engineering. This supervision is central to our undertaking as a forest manager as well as an investment manager – to execute effective harvest plans and minimise impacts on productivity and investor returns.

“Harvesting is really important to the business. My role is to coordinate open, efficient communication across all the moving parts of the harvest ‘system’, and when plans change to collaborate on suitable solutions with our contractors as a wider harvesting team.”

Originally from Spain, Joaquin studied for 5 years gaining a masters-level qualification in forestry. He worked in a forestry research centre in Namibia for a year before emigrating to New Zealand, where he has held forestry and silviculture roles in Nelson and more recently in the Wairarapa. Joaquin is married to an Olympic athlete, and lives in Masterton. He enjoys fishing in his spare time.

Geoff Welch
Geoff WelchTechnical Forester
BSc

DDI +64 6 370 6911
Mob. +64 22 080 2063

Geoff transitioned the planning role of Technical Forester in April 2017, having been our GIS Analyst for two years.

Geoff manages our GIS systems that capture and report spatial and non-spatial data. GeoMaster is our stand record system which contains the history of our forest operations (such as stocking rates, seed stock, planting and pruning regimes). Accurate record keeping is important for establishing the value of an investment, and planning tools like GeoMaster ensure that forestry operations occur with the timing and spatial accuracy required for optimising the investment outcome.

Geoff manages our inventory crews and yield analysis. He also works with Malte to run the silviculture programme in the Wairarapa, coordinating the planting, silviculture and forest maintenance work being undertaken by our contractors.

“The silviculture programme spans the duration of the forest lifecycle and is focussed on doing the right things at the right time to make the most of opportunities to add value to the crop. Managing the work programmes for our contractors is important because without them the trees would not be tended to the quality standards and outcome we’ve planned for at harvest.”

Geoff is currently an Associate Member of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry, working towards his registration. He is also our drone operator, having recently completed the requisite pilot training.

Geoff is originally from the UK and was a commissioned officer in the British Army for a number of years before immigrating to New Zealand, where he initially continued working in the GIS field for the New Zealand Defence Force. He lives with his family in rural Masterton.

Stuart Harvey
Stuart HarveyGIS Analyst
DDI +64 6 370 6913
Stu joined Forest Enterprises in April 2017. As GIS Analyst, Stu is responsible for building and maintaining the integrity of our digital database of geospatial data (ArcGIS), and produces the mobile maps relied upon by field staff and contractors, plus those required by Forest Enterprises’ investors. Stu processes and analyses data gathered in the field, including forestry activity that is GPS tracked (such as helicopter spraying operations and road and landing construction) and our drone imagery. One of his primary projects is to streamline our GIS enterprise by coding automated processes for accessing and using the available information.

This mapping is a key part of the forest management services we provide to our investors and private forest owners. Access to accurate geospatial information and estate maps supports decision making around our silvicultural, inventory, harvest planning, harvesting and other land management activities. Strategic and operational planning such as crew deployment, stand management, road and landing selection, environmental management and cost analysis can be efficiently implemented and communicated with confidence.

Geospatial data also forms part of our overall monitoring and reporting obligations to Ministry for Primary Industries and to regional and territorial authorities, as well as to neighbours and strategic partners.

Stu spent 13 years in GIS roles in the Defence industry. He is a Wairarapa local, and lives in Carterton with wife and two young children who keep Stu busy when he’s not practising Judo.

Tracey Donald
Tracey DonaldHarvest Management Accountant
DDI +64 6 370 6365
Mob. +64 27 524 0007
In the five years that Tracey has been with Forest Enterprises, her role has expanded significantly to include responsibility for managing our Head Office in Masterton as well as for harvest related accounting and administration.

Tracey works closely with Bert on running the harvest logistics information system, and the preparation of the monthly harvest financial reporting and analyses for our investments and the forestry team. This requires the compilation, accounting and reconciliation of a high volume of harvest related data and transactions that ultimately determine harvest returns. Tracey is in regular contact with our logging and cartage contractors plus our log export and marketing partners.

As Office Manager, Tracey is responsible for the smooth operation of our work environment. Importantly, Tracey is the liaison with our IT services provider around system performance and security.

Tracey joined Forest Enterprises in 2012 after having her young family, and her earlier work experience involved 9 years with a Chartered Accounting firm in Masterton. Three school aged children keep Tracey on her toes. Outside of work and family, Tracey’s interests include hockey, golf, tennis and outdoor pursuits in general where the social aspect is as fierce as the competition.

Liz Brown
Liz BrownFinancial Accountant
BCA, MBA

DDI +64 6 370 6910

Liz joined Forest Enterprises in April 2016. Her role was created in response to the accounting team’s growing responsibilities in meeting the needs of increased harvesting activity.

Liz is one of three accountants on staff and works most closely with Graeme. Where Graeme provides high-end oversight as Accounting Director, Liz manages the day-to-day accounting functions and tax obligations for our two companies, Forest Enterprises Growth Limited (FEG) and Forest Enterprises Limited (FEL).

In addition, Liz prepares the cash flows, budgets and treecrop valuations for the forestry investments which contribute to their annual Financial Statements, and is responsible for their day-to-day accounting and tax obligations. She also works closely with Tracey on some harvesting accounting functions.

Liz started her accounting career with the IRD. She later moved to a Big 4 firm and then to a Christchurch boutique accounting firm, before assisting her husband to establish his own business from home. Liz and her husband relocated to Carterton in 2011, where she spends most of her spare time acting as taxi driver for their school-aged children.

Jo Wildman
Jo WildmanAdministration Clerk
DDI +64 6 370 6364
In March 2017, Jo joined Forest Enterprises’ expanding accounts and administration team in support of our growing harvest business.

Jo’s role is to process the transactional documentation produced by the harvest of our Investors’ forests, from the moment harvesting activity commences to when a log leaves the port. This important data is a record of everything that goes in and comes out of the forest, and enables the forestry team to track ‘product’ at any given time. It is detailed work, and Forest Enterprises’ harvest reporting relies on this information being accurate and timely in order to determine the financial return from our Investors’ forests.

Jo works closely with Tracey on harvesting administration and monthly accounts, and also undertakes some general office duties.

Prior to joining Forest Enterprises, Jo worked for a Masterton-based professional services firm for 15 years. Jo is Wairarapa born and bred, and grew up in a horticulture family in Greytown. She lives in Greytown, now with her own family.

Susie Bargh
Susie BarghAccounts Clerk
Office +64 6 370 6360
Susie is one of our newest team members, joining Forest Enterprises in August 2017.

As Accounts Clerk, Susie works closely with Liz assisting with general accounting functions such as accounts payable and receivables, daily bank reconciliations and other monthly accounts tasks. She also supports the administration team with any other accounting or clerical tasks that need to be done, including the important task of maintaining our filing system.

Susie, her husband Phil and 3 children moved to Carterton in 2013 and are enjoying the lifestyle Wairarapa has to offer. Susie and Phil are both actively involved in junior rugby. Winter months are spent racing between kids sports, while the Summer months are spent fishing, diving and enjoying the outdoors.

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