J.P. Morgan Asset Management announced the acquisition today of Campbell Global, LLC, a leader in global timberland investment and natural resource management, in a move aimed at providing direct access to the forestry sector, as well as alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Principles of Responsible Investing.

According to J.P. Morgan, the transaction represents an effort to directly participate in transition to a low-carbon economy, with the company expecting to become an active participant in carbon offset markets as they develop. 

Demand for carbon offset projects, often focused on such as reforestation or ecosystem protection, that counteract the release of greenhouse gases is expected to increase significantly over the next several years, as companies and businesses increasingly launch net zero ambitions, and turn to offsets as a bridge to their own absolute emissions reduction efforts, or to balance difficult to avoid emissions. According to a recent report from Fitch Ratings, increasing demand driven by tightening climate policies will cause demand for carbon offsets will exceed supply within the next five years. Similarly, research by climate-focused Startup Sylvera forecasts a significant increase in the price of carbon as inventory of voluntary carbon credits drops.

George Gatch, Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said:

“This acquisition expands our alternatives offering and demonstrates our desire to integrate sustainability into our business in a way that is meaningful. Investing in timberland, on behalf of institutional and high net worth individuals, will allow us to apply our expertise in managing real assets to forests, which are a natural solution to many of the world’s climate, biodiversity and social challenges.”

Based in Portland, Oregon, Campbell Global has over $5 billion in AUM, and manages more than 1.7 million acres worldwide. J.P. Morgan stated that the deal will make it a significant benefactor for thriving forests around the world, including in 15 U.S. states, New Zealand, Australia and Chile. 

John Gilleland, Chief Executive Officer of Campbell Global, said:

“We have always held that there should be no tradeoff between investing wisely and investing responsibly. We made our first institutional investment in timberland 35 years ago, have since planted over 536 million trees, and emerged as a leader in sustainable forestry. We look forward to continuing these efforts with J.P. Morgan.  Importantly, this transaction further positions Campbell Global to serve our existing world-class clients at the highest standard.”

The investment offering will sit within J.P. Morgan’s $168B AUM Global Alternatives franchise, and will tap into the continued growth of private markets.  All 150 Campbell Global employees will be retained, and will remain headquartered in Portland.

Anton Pil, Global Head of J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives, added: 

“Timber investing further enhances our asset class offerings in our alternatives business, ultimately passing along the unique benefits of forest management to our clients. Our knowledge of real estate and transport markets, in particular, is expected to provide opportunities to optimize the usage of timber and wood products more vertically.”