Margules Groome Opens A European Office To Better Serve The European, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Forest and Wood Products Markets

14th August 2018
logging, cut-to-length operation

Margules Groome is excited to announce the recent addition of Margules Groome EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) now based in Amsterdam.

Subject to regulatory formalities, Margules Groome EMEA will be managed by Charl de Villiers who brings extensive experience in the European and African markets. Margules Groome EMEA has been positioned in Europe to service an increasing need for high-quality Management Consulting services in commercial forestry, wood/fibre processing, carbon, ecosystem services,  bioenergy and other land use sectors.

Margules Groome EMEA Managing Director Reagan Thompson explains:

“Europe continues to be a major player in the global forestry industry as both a productive region and source of capital. We have chosen The Netherlands for a number of reasons, yet in my view, the most compelling reason is to maintain direct access to our Clients across Europe. Amsterdam is central and has very well-serviced transport links. Schiphol is one of the best transport hubs in Europe – and for accessing Africa.” He adds: “Africa is of particular interest to us – it is a developing region with blue-sky potential, much of which is being funded by European capital underpinned by commercial, social, and environmental interests. Yet, we hear from our Clients that there remain significant challenges. We believe the combination of our extensive global experience, multi-disciplinary delivery capacity, strong associate networks (especially in South Africa), and client facing in Europe, enables us to deliver excellent solutions.”

As part of the new launch, Margules Groome co-sponsored and presented at a forest business conference in Poland, followed up with a tour visiting potential Clients and Collaborators in Finland, Denmark, Poland, UK, France and Germany. Some consistent themes emerged from discussions:

  • Forestry is still viewed favourably as an alternative asset class but return expectations have undoubtedly contracted.
  • There is a strong growth of forest impact funds with investors increasingly focused on balancing returns with clear environmental and social goals.
  • Africa is seen as an important focus area for impact investment and forest landscape restoration projects.
  • There is a strong and continued interest in Australia and New Zealand as investment regions, but participants find it difficult to enter this market due to robust competition.
  • In general, it seems easier to raise capital than it is to find new forestry projects that meet all investment criteria.

Reagan Thompson concludes: “Initial engagements were rewarding and educational – enabling us to further an understanding of our Client’s needs, strengthen existing relationships, and develop new ones. The investment community in Europe is well-informed and has developed strong in-house  forest investment skills. Nonetheless,  the additional capacity and global context offered by Margules Groome  is welcomed.”

Margules Groome expects to recruit further into the EMEA office over  coming months.