Harvard Management reports 18.8% annual return on Harvard University's natural resource assets, which include Kaingaroa pine plantation forests in New Zealand

DUNEDIN, New Zealand , October 28, 2011 () – Boston’s Harvard University has seen strong returns from its global natural resources portfolio, including its majority ownership of the central North Island’s Kaingaroa pine plantation forests in New Zealand.

Harvard Management, which manages Harvard University's US$32 billion endowment, made an 18.8 percent annual return on its natural resource assets, after putting 10 percent of its total portfolio into timberland, agricultural and other resource-bearing properties on five continents.

The natural resources portfolio return for the year to June 30 contributed to an overall portfolio return of 21.4 percent for the period, according to a statement on its website.

The natural resources portfolio has been built up during the last decade by Andy Wiltshire, a New Zealander who started his career with the New Zealand Forest Service, the developer of the Kaingaroa plantation forest in the central North Island.

"We started investing in timberland properties in the 1990s and as a result we have benefited from a meaningful first mover advantage," Jane Mendillo, HMC's chief executive said. Harvard beat out China's Citic to buy the Kaingaroa cutting rights from receivership in 2004. Source: Scoop

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