US bank targets tree huggers

£250m global timber fund set for launch on AIM
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A Texas investment bank will float the first global timber fund on the Alternative Investment Market next month.

The £250m Cambium Global Timberland Fund has been launched by Cogent Partners of Dallas to buy forests around the world, including land in Canada, Brazil, Malaysia and Australia. The company opted for AIM, the London Stock Exchange's market for smaller companies, because US stock market regulations prohibit the listing of this type of open-ended investment vehicle. City stockbrokers Teather & Greenwood will manage the float.

Cogent is hoping to capitalise on the fashionable green business movement.

Colin McGrady, Cogent's managing director, said: "There is a heightened awareness of the roles corporations are playing in the environment. They are increasingly talking about the carbon impact of their investment portfolios. People are loving wood."

Cogent has hired New Forests, a specialist Australian firm founded by David Brand, to advise it on the fund. Mr Brand is a pioneer in environmental investment.

Mr McGrady is in the middle of a three-week UK roadshow to sell the Jersey-incorporated fund to institutions and fund managers for high-net-worth individuals.