New Forests appoints new chief executive

David Brand
New Forests - Chief Executive
Date: 18 January 2023
Position: Chief Executive
By Jamie Williamson

After almost two decades in the role, David Brand is stepping down as chief executive of New Forests.

Brand has held the role for 17 years and said it is time to do what he loves most, which is "looking at strategic growth opportunities in new markets and new geographies."

"I'm immensely proud of what we've achieved growing from a handful of people in 2005 to over 100 staff in five countries, across 1.1 million hectares and $10 billion in assets under management," he said.

Mark Rogers will become chief executive of the global investment manager in April, while Brand will take on the new role of chair.

Rogers has been managing director, Australia and New Zealand since 2016 and held the additional responsibility of senior managing director for the US business since 2019. In that time, the business has grown from $3 billion to $10 billion.

"Mark is a proven, strategic leader who has a deep understanding of our business, our culture and our vision, making him the ideal candidate to lead New Forests into its next stage of growth. He has demonstrated an outstanding track record across our Australia, New Zealand and United States businesses with a vision to see investment in land use and forestry as key to the transition to a sustainable future," Brand said.

New Forests will now undertake a search for a new head of the local business.

Commenting on his promotion, Rogers said: "I'm honoured to take on the role of chief executive and look forward to continuing to cement our reputation as leaders in the natural capital investment space across developed and emerging markets."

"With the new shareholders Mitsui and Nomura providing growth capital and access to a global distribution platform, it's an exciting time for New Forests."

He also thanked Brand for his "vision, innovation and creating a culture of passionate, purpose-driven individuals."

Last year, New Forests has locked in US$200 million in commitments for the African Forestry Impact Platform (AFIP) fund and announced its first acquisition.

AFIP will acquire Green Resources, East Africa's largest forest development and wood processing company.

The fund is a partnership between New Forests, British International Investment (BII), Norfund and Finnfund in the development of AFIP. The partnership was announced at COP26 last year in Glasgow.

AFIP is aiming to raise US$500 million in long term institutional capital to support the sustainability and development of Africa's growing forestry sector.