Asset Management

Fruits of Employment Program

WITH HEATHER DAVIS, SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR, HEAD OF GLOBAL PRIVATE MARKETS

Anticipating the growing economic momentum of sustainable food production, TIAA-CREF has established a unique portfolio of valuable, strategic agricultural assets in some of the world’s most productive areas. The organization has acquired more than 400 farms located across the U.S., Australia, Brazil, and Eastern Europe.

TIAA-CREF’s agricultural portfolio is not only comprehensive, but also market-targeted — with growth crops that range from corn to soybeans, sugar to apples, cranberries to wine grapes, and pistachios to almonds. In fact, the organization is now one of the largest growers of almonds in the world.
With the help of tenant farmers, TIAA employees manage all the domestic and international farms in the permanent crop portfolio. Experienced commercial farmers work side-by-side with portfolio and investment professionals from the organization, on the ground at the farm sites. TIAA-CREF’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Westchester Group, Inc., one of the nation’s premier agricultural asset managers, has brought a further dimension to the organization’s in-house expertise. Given TIAA-CREF’s significant capabilities in commercial real estate, this insight has been leveraged across the agricultural portfolio, enabling the implementation of best-practice real estate strategies and the deployment of the organization’s real estate appraisers, engineers, and attorneys into the agriculture sector.


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