“It’s like gold, but better, because there is this cash flow,” Mr. Boardman said.
His boots were caked with mud when Thomas S. T. Gimbel, a longtime hedge fund executive, slipped in a strawberry patch. It was the plumpness of a strawberry that had distracted him.
Mr. Gimbel, who once headed the hedge fund division of Credit Suisse, now spends more time discussing crop yields than stock or bond yields.
He is the man on the ground for a group of investors — including New York’s biggest real estate dynasty, two Florida sugar barons and the founder of a multibillion-dollar investment firm — who have been buying up farms across the United States through a real estate investment trust called the American Farmland Company.
Hedge funds are not new to farmland. For nearly a decade they have scoured the corners of the globe for cheap land as food prices have soared, positioning themselves to profit from the growing demand. Hedge funds now have $14 billion invested in farmland, according to the data provider Preqin.
But in the latest twist, a small but growing group of sophisticated investors and bankers are combining crops and the soil they grow in into an asset class that ordinary investors can buy a piece of.
The Latest on: Cash Crops With Dividends
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The Latest on: Cash Crops With Dividends
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