Craigmore makes two hires and hits AUM milestone

The asset manager has appointed a new COO and a horticulture general manager.

Craigmore Sustainables has appointed Reuben Casey to the role of chief operating officer while Con Williams joins the firm as general manager, horticulture.

Casey was most recently chief executive of outdoor and lifestyle sports company KMD Brands. He has also held roles at TaylorMade Golf Company and Meridian Energy.

Williams joins Craigmore from New Zealand investment manager MyFarm Investments where he was general manager, investments.

Craigmore also confirmed its assets under management have surpassed NZ$1 billion ($647 million; €597 million) for the first time, as its Permanent Crop Partnership took NZ$130 million in 2022.

The 2016-vintage vehicle was reopened to additional capital in 2020 due to LP demand and hit its NZ$300 million hard-cap in Q1 2022.

Head of investor relations Nick Tapp told Agri Investor in the run-up to the fund close that “permanent crops have become a very sexy sector, everybody seems to like them. Export revenues from New Zealand horticulture – which is nearly all permanent crops – have grown by 7 percent per annum for 20 years. And it’s still going, it hasn’t slowed,” he said at the time.

The asset manager also took NZ$100 million in commitments into the separately managed Forestry Partnership, along with additional capital into the Totara Forestry Partnership and the Craigmore Farming Partnership.

“Craigmore’s people have been very focused on acquiring land suitable for planting new forests and some exceptional orchard-land in the best growing regions of the country,” said Tapp in a statement. “Craigmore will continue to look at the new opportunities in the permanent crop sector and is excited about the future for the Totara Forestry Partnership.

Chief executive Che Charteris added: “Capital investment to change land uses from pastoral farming into permanent crop horticulture substantially increases productivity and exports from the land. Craigmore is establishing new forests on what was previously marginal grazing land to deliver real climate impact through avoided emissions and carbon sequestration. There are real impact investment opportunities.”