Asset Management Finance announces investment in Forest Investment Associates; capital to fund employee buyout

Liling Tan

Liling Tan

Jan 31, 2008 – Business Wire

NEW YORK , January 31, 2008 (press release) – Asset Management Finance Corporation (AMFSM) announced today that it has made an investment in Atlanta-based Forest Investment Associates (FIA), a leading timberland investment manager. AMF has provided capital to FIA in exchange for a Revenue Share Interest (RSISM) for a limited time period, and will hold a passive non-voting interest in the firm during that period. FIA will retain complete autonomy as a 100 percent employee-owned firm.

FIA will use the capital provided by AMF to fund an employee buyout, led by the firm’s senior management team, of its founder and controlling shareholder, Charles M. Tarver. Mr. Tarver co-founded the firm more than 20 years ago and is widely considered a pioneer in the field of timberland investment management.

AMF’s investment in Forest Investment Associates is its eighth transaction in less than two years. It is the second time AMF’s capital has been used to finance an employee buyout of a controlling interest in a firm. AMF’s growing portfolio of independent investment management firms spans a wide variety of asset classes, from traditional domestic and international long only, REITS and wealth management to foreign exchange and alternative investments. With this investment, AMF’s partner firms’ combined assets under management will exceed $40 billion.

Launched in 1986, Forest Investment Associates manages approximately $2.8 billion in assets, overseeing broadly diversified portfolios of timberland on behalf of state and municipal retirement systems, corporate pension plans, endowments, foundations, family offices and private commingled funds. Timberland has become an increasingly popular asset class among institutional investors. It provides portfolio diversification, having low correlation with traditional equities and real estate, and acts as a hedge against inflation.

FIA’s senior management team is led by L. Michael Kelly and includes V. Scott Bond, Samuel R. Grice, Charles L. VanOver and Marc A. Walley. These executives will have a controlling interest in the firm and will continue to run the organization on a day-to-day basis. “With this important transition behind us, Forest Investment Associates is well-prepared to enter the next phase of its development. The entire management team and all employees remain dedicated to delivering superior investment advice to our valued clients, and to pursuing the highest standards of excellence in timberland investment management,” said Mr. Kelly. The management team and other employees also committed funds to the buyout. In conjunction with the buyout, Mr. Kelly, who had previously been Executive Vice President, has been named President of the firm, and Mr. Walley will become Executive Vice President. Mr. Tarver will remain as a consultant.

“AMF provided a unique investment structure that allowed us to purchase the firm from Charley Tarver while also assuring that all equity in FIA will be owned by our employees,” said Mr. Kelly. “AMF provided the creativity and flexibility to help us structure our transaction in a way that sets FIA on a stable, independent path for many years to come. We look forward to our partnership with AMF and to continuing the outstanding legacy we have inherited from Charley.”

AMF’s Revenue Share Interests are designed to help asset management firms facilitate a variety of organizational liquidity and funding initiatives including financing generational equity transfers, buyouts, recapitalizations, financing strategic growth opportunities and acquisitions -- in each case without sacrificing firm ownership or operational control.

“Forest Investment Associates is emblematic of the type of firm in which we like to invest: it’s a leader in its asset class and has a long record of delivering outstanding results for its clients,” said Norton Reamer, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMF. “We are pleased to contribute to the firm’s continued independence.”

David Chalfin, Vice President at AMF, added, “We feel fortunate to partner with the team at FIA and to assist them in achieving this milestone transaction. We look forward to facilitating management buyouts with other successful management teams in the investment management industry.”

Berkshire Capital Securities LLC acted as financial adviser to the management team in connection with the transaction.

About Forest Investment Associates

Forest Investment Associates (FIA), organized in 1986, is a Registered Investment Adviser providing investment management services for investors in timberland. Operating out of its Atlanta, Georgia headquarters and offices in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, the staff of FIA manages timberland portfolios for corporate pension plans, state and municipal retirement systems, endowments, foundations and family offices. For more information, please visit

About Asset Management Finance Corporation

AMF offers an innovative investment technique for asset management firms seeking funding for owner liquidity, internal equity transfers, expansion efforts or other capital needs. AMF’s unique structure provides capital in exchange for a limited term interest in a firm’s future revenues. AMF holds passive, non-voting revenue share interests in a diversified group of asset managers. Asset managers retain complete control and the majority of their firm’s revenues during the transaction term with 100% of the economic benefits reverting to the owners when AMF’s interest expires. This arrangement gives asset managers the ability to realize embedded franchise value without sacrificing ownership or management control. Investors in Asset Management Finance include Proctor NBF Capital Partners (through a subsidiary of National Bank Financial Inc.), Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., and AMF management. AMF has offices in New York and Boston. For more information, please visit

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