Wealth & Finance International - Fund Awards 2015

Wealth & Finance Fund Awards 2015 44 Craigmore Sustainables Best Farming Investor One of the unusual features of the Craigmore business is that all the principals come from a farming background, and most have spent their whole career in either the production agriculture or food supply chain or both. Operational agriculture is about very fine attention to detail, for which local experience is essential, and we have a very high degree of local knowledge. Craigmore has pioneered structures with a very high degree of alignment of interest, and such structures are unique to the agricultural sector. Company: Craigmore Sustainables Name: Nick Tapp Email: [email protected] Web Address: www.craigmore.com Address: 17 Hanover Square, LONDON, W1S 1BN, UK 47 Waterloo Road, Hornby, Christchurch 8042, NZ Craigmore is a specialist investment manager, also providing hands- on farm management for investors into New Zealand agriculture. The Craigmore Farming Partnership farm portfolio is spread across the major sectors of NZ farming, with a principal focus on irrigated South Island dairy farming. On behalf of our investors, Craigmore own and manage around 10,000ha of farmland, producing milk, sheep, beef, pumpkins, apples, kiwifruit and blackcurrants. Investors in the Craigmore Farming Partnership are a mix of private and institutional investors. We buy and manage farms in sectors, for which New Zealand has a local, regional or global competitive advantage. We secure high quality assets, which are not performing to their full potential, and invest in de- livering that potential. And we align the interests of investors, Craigmore and our senior operational managers through equity participation. Most of our investors are new to farmland investing and unfamiliar with the details of operational agriculture. Therefore, we seek to keep them very well informed about the day to day activities on farm, with regular limited partner updates, as well as the normal quarterly reports. Our aim is to be responsive to investor queries and to keep them well briefed about the industry in which they have invested. Agriculture is an unusual industry, with a high degree of daily change against a slow moving physical and commercial backdrop. Operational farm management requires very intensive attention to detail on a daily basis. An old industry saying is that “Successful farm management is about making 20 small decisions every day – and getting 19 right”. However, tools which collect and analyse information to assist daily decision making are becoming increasingly common, and farmers in New Zealand are among the early adopters of the most useful new technologies. The particular structure developed by Craigmore to seek maximum alignment of interest is very uncommon in the wider agricultural industry, which is unique in farmland funds. We work in a culture that is based on continuous improvement. Farming can be a lonely business, and we provide a very high degree of support to our farming team which enables them to share the best practice, learn from others, and improve performance in an environment that encourag- es innovation and the sharing of ideas. Farming is a particularly heterogeneous industry, where each farm is unique facing individual challenges. In this environment, daily decisions have to be made on the farm not in the Head Office. Our Head Office team provide information and support functions to farm managers, while giving them delegated authority to make and own the daily operational decisions. Lower commodity prices have placed the industry under a degree of pressure. However, this has highlighted the competitive advantage enjoyed by the best operators in a low cost environment. We are close to First Close for a second New Zealand farming fund – Craigmore Dairy Partnership II, and are in early development of a Permanent Crop strate- gy across the major permanent crops in New Zealand. In terms of the award, we appreciate the recognition of our achieve- ments in a sector which is new to many investors. Sectors which are unfamiliar are, understandably, treated with a degree of caution, and recognition of our success is a very useful validation.

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