Hancock Natural Resource Group joins WBCSD


Hancock Natural Resource Group joins WBCSD

Geneva, 24 June 2019 – Hancock Natural Resource Group, a Manulife Investment Management company, has today joined nearly 200 forward-thinking companies as the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). 

Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) is a worldwide asset manager specializing in global agriculture and timber portfolio development and management.

HNRG’s timber division is the world’s largest global timberland investment manager for institutional investors. The division manages approximately 5.7 million acres of timberland valued at over USD $10.7 billion across Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand and the United States.1

The agricultural investment group manages over 380,000 acres of prime farmland in the United States, Canada and Australia, valued at over USD $3.1 billion.1

William E. Peressini, President and Chief Executive Officer of HNRG said: “We are excited to join WBCSD and all its members, who are working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We believe that good management of environmental, social and corporate governance issues and risks can lead to long-term sustainable returns. As an early adopter of good stewardship practices, we have managed sustainable investment strategies in timber and farmland for many years. Consequently, we are particularly interested in WBCSD’s innovative work in relation to food and nature, and we look forward to being an active member of the Forest Solutions Group.”

WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker said “We are pleased to welcome HNRG as WBCSD’s newest member. Sustainable land and forest management is a key issue for the world, as it touches many areas related to the systems that support our planet – across water, soil health, biodiversity, health and nutrition and many others. We can only effect transformational change across these systems by working directly with large-scale businesses such as Hancock.”

HNRG is committed to sustainability and responsible investing, is a member of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), and as a Manulife Investment Management company is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI).


About Manulife Investment Management

Manulife Investment Management is the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than 150 years of financial stewardship to partner with clients across our institutional, retail, and retirement businesses globally. Our specialist approach to money management includes the highly differentiated strategies of our fixed-income, specialized equity, multi-asset solutions, and private markets teams—along with access to specialized, unaffiliated asset managers from around the world through our multimanager model2 3. Our personalized, data-driven approach to retirement is focused on delivering financial wellness in retirement plans of all sizes to help plan participants and members retire with dignity.

Headquartered in Toronto, we operate as Manulife Investment Management throughout the world, with the exception of the United States, where the retail and retirement businesses operate as John Hancock Investment Management and John Hancock, respectively; and in Asia and Canada, where the retirement business operates as Manulife. Manulife Investment Management had C$837 billion in assets under management and administration as of March 31, 20194. Not all offerings available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit our website at

1. As of March 31, 2019

2. Public Markets strategies managed by Manulife Investment Management, formerly known as Manulife Asset Management and John Hancock Asset Management. Manulife Investment Management’s Private Markets platform offers long term solutions across private equity and private credit, real estate equity and debt, infrastructure equity, timberland and farmland.

3. John Hancock Investment Management’s multimanager approach oversees a global network of over 30 unaffiliated asset management firms, managing more than 100 investment strategies, in addition to our affiliated asset managers.

4. Source: MFC financials. Global Wealth and Asset Management AUMA at March 31, 2019 was C$837 billion and includes C$189 billion of assets managed on behalf of other segments and C$134 billion of assets under administration.

Brian Kernohan Named Chief Sustainability Officer for Hancock Natural Resource Group


Brian Kernohan Named Chief Sustainability Officer for Hancock Natural Resource Group

BOSTON (May 7, 2018)—Brian Kernohan has been appointed Chief Sustainability Officer of the Hancock Natural Resource Group, Bill Peressini, HNRG’s President and CEO said today.

In this newly created role, Mr. Kernohan will lead and coordinate HNRG’s stewardship and sustainability programs and activities. He also will continue to work with HNRG’s property management platforms and investment processes in timberland and farmland with respect to property level stewardship, sustainability and certification programs.

Mr. Kernohan, who is based in Michigan, also will continue as HNRG’s Director of Policy and Environmental Advocacy.

“Since joining us in 2012, Brian has been a strong advocate for our stewardship ethic and efforts,” said Mr. Peressini. “He is co-leading our Sustainability and Responsible Investing effort, one of HNRG’s key strategic initiatives. While he will continue to lead our policy and advocacy efforts, his new title reflects the growth in scope and significance of sustainability measures across all aspects of our business.”

In addition to directing the global sustainability program, he partners with timberland and farmland property management operations in developing policies and environmental compliance mechanisms, as well as government relations concerning business and environmental strategies.

Previously he was Manager of Environmental Affairs for Hancock Timber Resource Group Before joining Hancock Timber in 2012, he was Director of Policy at Forest Capital Partners where he was responsible for a variety of programs including forest certification, forest policy, government affairs, public relations, conservation transactions, and ecology support.

Mr. Kernohan holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Wildlife Management from South Dakota State University. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, a designation accredited by The Wildlife Society.


About Hancock Natural Resource Group

Hancock Natural Resource Group is a unit of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets with investments in timber, agriculture, and renewable energy. Based in Boston and on behalf of investors worldwide, HNRG’s timber division manages approximately 6 million acres of timberland across the United States and in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Chile. HNRG’s agricultural investment group oversees approximately 300,000 acres of prime farmland in major agricultural regions of the United States and in Canada and Australia.

Hancock Natural Resource Group Names Tom Sarno Managing Director Of Timberland and Farmland Operations


Hancock Natural Resource Group Names Tom Sarno Managing Director Of Timberland and Farmland Operations

BOSTON (September 5, 2017)—Tom Sarno has been named Managing Director of Timberland and Farmland Operations for the Hancock Natural Resource Group, HNRG Chief Executive Officer Bill Peressini said today.

In the newly created position, Mr. Sarno will be responsible for overseeing the global property management operations of the Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG) and Hancock Agricultural Investment Group (HAIG).

Based in Charlotte, NC, he will report to both HTRG President Brent Keefer and HAIG President Oliver Williams, and become a member of the HNRG Executive Committee.

Before taking on this role, Mr. Sarno was HTRG’s Director of Global Operations, responsible for the timber group’s property management operations of 5.8 million acres of timberland in the United States, Canada, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. HAIG has approximately 300,000 acres of farmland under management in the Australia, Canada and the United States.

“Tom’s experience, skill and background uniquely position him for this vital role in our organization,” Mr. Peressini said. “Both the timber and agricultural groups will benefit from Tom’s experience in leading, developing and managing best-in-class property management organizations as well as having the benefit of his insight on the HNRG Executive Committee.”

“Having one unified property-management leader for both areas will provide for better efficiencies, resource allocation and sharing of best practices,” Peressini added, “especially in areas that are not domain-specific, such as health, safety, environment, stewardship, sustainability, client return and enhancement strategies, management development and succession planning, risk-management, and resource planning and analysis.”

Mr. Sarno, who joined HNRG in 2004, has served in a number of roles in the organization including Senior Portfolio Manager; General Manager, Southern Division, and Mid-Atlantic Region Manager for Hancock Forest Management. Before joining HNRG, he had worked for International Paper and at Champion International Corporation.

He graduated from the University of Florida with a Forest Resources and Conservation.


About the Hancock Timber Resource Group

The Hancock Timber Resource Group, founded in 1985, is a division of Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc., a unit of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets. Based in Boston, it manages approximately 5.8 million acres of timberland in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on behalf of investors worldwide. Additional information about Hancock Timber may be found at

About Manulife Asset Management Private Markets Manulife Asset Management Private Markets has investment expertise in several private asset classes, including commercial real estate, timberland and farmland, biomass renewable energy and oil and gas. Manulife Asset Management Private Markets also partners with Manulife’s specialized private asset investment teams to invest in private placement debt, commercial mortgages, private equity and mezzanine debt. Hancock Natural Resources Group, Manulife Real Estate, John Hancock Real Estate, NAL Resources, Regional Power, Manulife Capital, and Hancock Capital Management are units of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets. As at June 30, 2017, Manulife’s assets under management in private asset classes were C$114 billion (US$88 billion), including assets managed by and for Manulife’s general fund and external clients. Additional information may be found at

About Manulife Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers’ needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2016, we had approximately 35,000 employees, 70,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 22 million customers. As of June 30, 2017, we had over $1 trillion (US$780 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $26.7 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.

HNRG celebrates 30th anniversary
Hancock Natural Resource Group and Masisa Form Forestry Company In Chile


Hancock Natural Resource Group and Masisa Form Forestry Company In Chile

SANTIAGO, CHILE (April 29, 2014)—Following the agreement between the U.S.-based Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) and MASISA that was signed in March, today both companies have signed the relevant contracts by which MASISA will sell to HNRG 80 percent of its forestry holdings covering approximately 62,000 hectares of land, 32,500 hectares of which are planted mostly with radiata pine.

In order to implement the transaction, MASISA transferred the forestry assets located in the areas of Temuco and Valdivia in Chile into a new Chilean company, Hancock Chilean Plantations. HNRG subscribed for 80 percent of the shares of said company, while Masisa retained ownership of the remaining 20 percent. MASISA received US$ 204,460,310, corresponding to the previously reported purchase price plus any qualifying adjustments.

This transaction will provide Masisa with a current consolidated EBITDA estimated at US$ 143.1 million, a net consolidated loss estimated at US$ 6.6 million, and a distributable net income of US$ 114.5 million.

As part of this transaction Hancock Chilean Plantations and MASISA have signed a long-term contract to supply raw materials to the MASISA wood panel facilities in Chile.

MASISA and HNRG have also signed a shareholder agreement regulating their rights and obligations in Hancock Chilean Plantations, which will provide MASISA with an option to purchase in the event that HNRG should wish to sell its shares in the company.

According to the CEO of MASISA, Roberto Salas, “this agreement will allow us to finance our growth plan for 2014 and 2015, strengthen our financial profile and to add a partner with outstanding global experience in the investment and management of forestry assets, which means an important contribution to the overall development of MASISA.”

Salas also added: “with these funds we will finance projects that have attractive return rates and that will contribute to the improvement of the company´s return on investment.”

“We are very pleased to partner with Masisa on this joint venture. We look forward to working with them for years to come, as our organizations share the same high standards for forest management, safety and environmental stewardship,” said HNRG CEO Dan Christensen. “We also are very pleased to acquire these excellent and highly productive forest plantations that are well-suited to our investors’ objectives.”

About the Hancock Timber Resource Group

Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc., with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation. It manages approximately 2,600,000 hectares of timberland throughout the United States, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on behalf of institutional investors globally. Additional information about Hancock Timber may be found at All of the Hancock Timber Resource Group’s timberlands in the U.S. are managed by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hancock Forest Management.

Hancock Farmland Services is launched
Manulife Financial acquires John Hancock and HNRG
Hancock Forest Management is formed
Hancock Natural Resource Group Australia is formed
Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) is established; Hancock Timber Resource Group and Hancock Agricultural Investment Group become divisions of HNRG
Hancock Agricultural Investment Group (HAIG) is established in Boston MA
Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG) is established in Boston MA
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