|Kaarsten Turner Balby of the Forestland Group.|
Frank Bainimarama has turned to another American company to lead another lucrative venture but like the casino deal, little seems to be known about the new player.
Bainimarama has named The Forestland Group as the company taking over from Fiji Hardwood Limited, running what is being touted as a billion dollar industry.
Internet searches on The Forestland Group shows it has a presence in cyber space but there is little real information about it in terms of articles on it success, annual reports, pictures of its management team, especially since its website says:"TFG manages the forest resources for its affiliated Heartwood Forestland Funds across 3,338,771 acres in 21 states and 4 countries. The regional teams working in conjunction with local forestry consulting firms are responsible for the daily, on ground management activities and property oversight."
Information on the group's page describes it as industry leader yet it doesn't have a track record despite the blurb: "Forestland Group, LLC ( TFG ), formed in 1995, is an independent timberland investment management organization ( TIMO ) which emphasizes naturally regenerating hardwood and some softwood forests. TFG currently manages approximately 3.4 million acres in 20 U.S. states as well as in Belize, Canada, and Costa Rica."
Perhaps the key to who it is and how it operates can be found in the following: "The firm manages its investments through a series of limited partnerships and private REITs with a mix of both institutional and high-net-worth investors encompassing some 130 different entities. Headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, TFG has a corporate office near Boston and an array of forest management offices near its land bases."
The 'face' of Forestland is Kaarsten Turner Balby, who is listed in information on the group as the Vice President of the company, and who has been in Fiji this week.
She was at the inaugural meeting of the Mahogany Industry Council in Suva where Bainimarama formally ditched Fiji Hardwood Corporation saying it had grossly mismanaged the industry.
Bainimarama told the meeting Forestland Group and the new decree would change all of that saying the decree would allow the Mahogany Industry Council to be formed, and the roles of Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited and the Fiji Mahogany Trust to be redefined.