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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers


Total Assets Under Management: $100 – 499M
Asset Class: Commodities
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 13 – Climate Action
Clean Technology, Alternative Energy & Climate Change
Natural Resources and Conservation
Water and Sanitation

Firm Overview

Category: Real Assets - Forestry

EFM is pioneering climate-smart forestry for a carbon-constrained future. We are a real asset investment manager that invests in working landscapes, including forests, farms, and ranches across the western United States to create long-term financial value and enduring social and environmental impact. We have $130M in AUM and since our founding in 2004, we have transitioned more than 100,000 acres of forestland to FSC-certified, climate-smart forest management in Oregon, Washington, and California. Our management is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and our forests are managed to produce a full range of goods and services - logs for mills, clean water for communities, carbon sequestration and biodiversity – for the benefit all our stakeholders. Our team has deep local experience in forestland investment and management, finance, tax credits, and environmental markets. EFM is proud to be a top 50 Impact Fund Manager since 2012 and among the top 10% of BCorps globally since 2013.

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 10 years or more
Total Assets Under Management:
$100 – 499M
Total Number of Investors: Less than 5
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 25% – 49%
Investment Thesis:

EFM believes that climate-smart strategies are the future of real asset investing in a carbon constrained future. Over a decade, we have developed climate-smart approaches to investing in natural forests that considers traditional markets for timber and biomass, but also identifies and monetizes often over-looked conservation, cultural and environmental assets can create enduring value for investors and society.

Investment Overview:

The natural forests of the western U.S. have unique social, environmental and cultural dimensions that are largely ignored by traditional investment approaches and this creates opportunities for differentiated investment and management strategies. Forestland is a largely mature asset class, but conservation finance opportunities create an avenue for forestland owners to access previously untapped revenue streams while also generating public benefit. EFM acquires assets that are largely overlooked by conventional investors because of their unique operational, environmental, or social attributes—targeting landscapes that will benefit from our management strategies and conservation finance expertise. We specialize in the use of tools like conservation easements, carbon offsets, tax credits and recreational permits that can monetize the value of standing trees, and our climate-smart management approaches are designed to generate sustainable levels of timber income while growing and restoring forest health.

Company Differentiator:
  1. EFM is one of the few timberland investment organizations in the U.S. to be 100% FSC certified. FSC or Forest Stewardship Council is the most rigorous voluntary standard for sustainable forest management globally.
  2. We are focused on the forests of the western U.S., one of the few places globally where commercial forestry is economically attractive within a natural forest context. We are an intentionally local, regionally focused manager with deep local expertise that allows us to establish long-term relationships with contractors and develop conservation strategies that are right-sized for the region.
  3. EFM’s specialized expertise and relationships allow us to design blended-capital vehicles that combine PRIs (from Foundations), with tax equity and private investor capital. This strategy allows us to pursue impact investment strategies that create tangible, long-term and measurable impact.
  4. Finally, we are committed to enabling long-term, permanent impact. We do this in two ways. First, we are one of the few investment managers to sponsor an evergreen investment vehicle that is committed to permanent land stewardship and impact. Secondly, where possible, we are committed to exiting to conservation minded buyers that preserve the positive impact created by the Funds long after our ownership.

Investment Example

In 2015 EFM had the privilege to facilitate a significant private land repatriation to the Coquille Indian Tribe. The purchase of 3200 acres (called the Sek-wet-se property) by the Tribe not only restored a critical part of the Tribe's ancestral homeland, but significantly improved wildlife habitat by connecting the property to the adjacent wilderness areas in the Siskiyou National Forest. EFM acquired the property in 2006 after its acquisition filters highlighted the landscape significance of the property, the cultural heritage, and the unique habitat for the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelets and importance to salmonids. EFM brought this industrially managed property under its FSC Certified management plan and began the process of forest restoration, which will be continued by the Coquille Tribe, who is also an FSC certified Manager. The financial return on this investment was largely driven by biological tree growth, tax incentives and fundamental growth in demand for PNW lumber. EFM's funds play a critical bridging role in the conservation landscape by partnering with Tribes, conservation groups, communities and public agencies to restore forestland into long-term, local ownership.

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
30 years or more
Bettina von Hagen – CEO More Info

Bettina helped launch EFM and joined the company as CEO in 2008. Bettina has spent the past 30 years working to promote economic viability, social equity, and environmental health in the Pacific Northwest with a particular focus on forestry. A former vice president of Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Fund and commercial banker, Bettina has over 30 years of experience in banking, impact investing, and fund management. She also has significant expertise in ecosystem service markets, particularly the forest carbon market, where she is involved in developing protocols for forest carbon projects at the state and federal levels.

Chris Sweeney – COO More Info

Chris leads the day-to-day operations of the Management Company and its Funds including finance, accounting, tax, valuation, financial reporting, investor reporting, compliance and office operations. He has 30 years of experience in the financial services and investment industry most recently as Chief Operating Officer at Prime Buchholz, an institutional investment advisor headquartered in the greater Boston area. Prior to Prime Buchholz, Chris served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of World Learning, Inc., a global education organization, and held several executive roles at State Street Global Advisors and State Street Corporation.

Amrita VK Vatsal – Managing Director More Info

Amrita joined EFM in 2011 and is a member of EFM’s management team. In this role, she shapes the company’s growth and impact investment strategies managing new product development, fund structuring and investor recruitment. Additionally, as a member of the investment committee, she contributes to property sourcing, transaction structuring, conservation finance, and carbon project development. Prior to EFM, Amrita was an Assistant Manager with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Singapore for 5 years and she subsequently cultivated a passion for financing the growth of environmental business while working for Piper Jaffray’s clean-tech banking group.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
50% or more
Percentage of Management Team who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
Less than 25%

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Market Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Conserving land, ecosystems and natural resources
Creating jobs
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to water and sanitation
Value-added Services Offered:
Other: Provide employment to residence of low-income and underserved rural communities

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

Since investments are real property investments, our due diligence process ensure that that land can be viably managed using environmentally sustainable practices that are FSC Certified (Forest Stewardship Council).

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to investors and donors
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Amrita VK Vatsal
Phone: (503) 467-0801
Mailing Address:

721 NW 9th Ave Suite 230, Portland, OR 97209

Apply for the IA 50 2021

The application period to become an ImpactAssets 50 2021 Fund Manager will open in October 2020.
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