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Stafford Capital hires investment analyst to support fund deployment

The advisory firm has hired a forestry scientist to provide analysis for its investments, including secondary timberland funds

Stafford Capital Partners, the investment manager and advisory firm, has hired an investment analyst in its Sydney office to provide fund analysis, including for its secondaries timberland fund stakes.

Dan Rocca, who has experience in forestry consulting, joins Stafford from Poyry Management Consulting, according to a statement. Stafford invests in timberland funds in Australia as well as in the US, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and New Zealand.

In May, the firm held final close on Stafford International Timberland VII, its $484 million fund of funds focused on existing timberland funds. Exceeding its target of $400 million, the fund has already made two secondaries investments, the firm said in May.

“Timberland investing, like a lot of private equity investing, is about the value that you pay for it, and the value you can justify each year. That is primarily where [Rocca] will contribute to,” Vince Cao, a spokesperson for the firm in London, told Secondaries Investor.

The firm is also seeking to expand with two new roles within its timber business in London and Sydney, according to the statement.

Stafford had committed almost 21 percent of the fund so far in May and at the time announced it had hired three new staff to assist in the investment of SIT VII.

“Timberland has matured as an asset class in the last 10 years, and now has high quality managers in the US, South America, Oceania and Europe,” Thomas Goodrich, a partner with Stafford told Secondaries Investor in June. Market inefficiencies and the nature of negotiated transactions allow the firm to use its knowledge of managers, funds and timberland investors to deliver secondary transaction flow to its funds and clients at discounts to net asset value, he added.

In June 2014, Stafford acquired the speciality infrastructure secondaries, sustainable capital and venture capital fund of funds management business from Macquarie Investment Services and Macquarie Investment Management, which at the time totalled about $700 million of assets transferred.

The firm, which provides advisory services on alternative assets, has $4.5 billion under management and a 36-member team specialising in agriculture, infrastructure, private equity, sustainable capital, timber and venture capital.