The need for alternative investments in the current market is prominent, with traditional asset classes yielding historically low returns.


Nisan Slominsky-Kneset – Head of Israeli Finance Committee

Bizportal Global Tel Aviv is Israel’s leading investment conference. It aims to increase awareness of international investments, here this year’s focus was predominantly about emerging markets, including Latin America. The conference discussed the world markets since 2008 and highlights non-traditional investment alternatives.

The conference was attended by many top Israeli politicians and financial figures. The opening speaker was Nisan Slominsky-Kneset, parliament member and head of the finance committee of the Israeli government, who was followed by Ester Levanon, the CEO and Director of the Israel stock exchange. The TA -100 index was represented by senior members, as well as owners, founders and general managers of leading investment companies. Within the panel, the head of research of Merril Lynch Israel, Bilal Hafeez – Head of Research for Deutsche Bank, David Lubin – Head of Emerging Markets of Citi London and Robert Parker – Senior Adviser at Credit Suisse amongst others.

The need for alternative investments in the current market is prominent, with traditional asset classes yielding historically low returns. Timberland investments were introduced by Ackerman as an emerging asset class with an exceptional track record. Ackerman highlighted the financial and social benefits of forestlands investments for investors. One of the clear points of his presentation where the inherent relation between demand of timber and population growth, since 1964 the demand for timber and population growth have grown parallel when compared, forecast shows the trend is expected to continue.


Ester Levanon – CEO Israeli Stock Exchange

The observation that money can, in fact, grow on trees, demonstrates the inherent ability of this asset class to generate a yield that equity cannot, while hedging against the increasing inflation rates of today’s markets. Further, with investors hesitant to put capital into the equity market, the proven, emerging industry is beginning to distinguish itself as a promising investment opportunity that can meet both financial and social responsibility goals at once. The idea that environmentally friendly investments cannot also be competitive is refuted by Ackerman, who demonstrates that investors can have competitive returns, financial security, and peace of mind.

Ackerman highlighted the growing demand for timberland and its products while educating attendees on the risks and drivers of return within this unique industry. The investment opportunities in forestlands were doubly relevant at the conference, not only as a non-traditional asset, but also for their location: Latin America. Latin America has maintained high levels of economic growth and financial resilience, attracting increased foreign investment and tourism and progressing towards poverty alleviation, while building a larger and more demanding middle class.


Michael Ackerman – COO EcoForests

EcoForests is a boutique forestry management company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company manages teak, and more recently, eucalyptus plantations in Costa Rica and Argentina. EcoForests generates returns for investors through a commitment to quality in every step of the growth of the timber and by also ensuring proper technique and security.