Stafford Capital Partners raises $635m towards $1bn target

The firm raised $945m across its secondaries and carbon strategies in 2023.

Stafford Capital Partners has raised $635 million for the tenth iteration of its Stafford International Timberland Fund.

SIT X is a secondaries timberland vehicle launched in January 2023 and has a $1 billion fundraising target.

The firm said in an investor update: “The accelerating support for timberland as an asset class is illustrative of the growing net-zero aspirations of institutional investors globally, with significant mandates now in from a mix of institutional investors from the UK, US, Korea and Germany, including UK Local Government Pension Schemes, as well as other pension funds and insurance firms.”

Stafford Capital Partners closed SIT IX on $695 million in August 2021, falling short of its $750 million target.

The vehicle received a $150 million commitment from the National Pension Service of Korea, as large Asian LPs, including South Korea’s Public Officials Benefit Association, made clear their intention to make investments in forestry funds.

Stafford also has the Carbon Offset Opportunity Fund in market, which also has a $1 billion target and held a $242 million first close in February 2023.

The carbon vehicle is an Article 9 impact fund and will make secondaries investments as well investing in afforestation, natural forest restoration and improved forest management projects across global markets.

Stafford did not offer a fundraising update on this vehicle but said that throughout 2023, the firm “raised $945 million across our secondaries and carbon strategies.”

The 2022-vintage Carbon Offset Opportunity Fund is anchored by a £100 million ($114 million; €113 million) commitment from Essex Pension Fund and has also been backed by the local government pension schemes of Leicestershire and the City and County of Swansea.

The closed-end vehicle has a 20-year term and seek to generate 30 million carbon credits, invest in around 200,000ha and plant roughly 150,000ha of new forestry.