Timber trust appoints new manager after review

The Phaunos Timber investment trust’s board has brought in Stafford Timberland to manage its assets following a strategic review.

The trust’s board had hired Stafford in December 2013 to review its operations in an attempt to improve performance on the trust.

The trust, run by Phaunos Boston, has lost money in one-, three- and five-year time periods and currently is on a discount to its net asset value of 46 per cent.

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Stafford’s review found that the trust had too many risky investments and should look to sell out of some of them, as well as seeking a loan facility in order to improve its cash position.

The firm also said some of the valuations on the trust’s assets were “subject to significant uncertainty”.

Following the review the board said it had “concluded that shareholders’ interests would best be served by continuing and expanding the relationship with Stafford”.

Stafford, which manages more than $1.5bn (£0.9bn) in timber assets worldwide, has taken on the management of the fund from Phaunos Boston, although Phaunos will continue to be responsible for the accounting and administration on the trust.