A look at official filings required by the Security and Exchange Commission shows Wall Street investors are responding to the opportunity to own farmland as a financial instrument.
The filings are made by Farmland Partners (FPI), the Denver-based real estate investment trust traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The latest filing shows institutions owned 36.7% of all outstanding shares through the end of September.
The largest institutional shareholder was Black Rock, holding 5.65% of all outstanding shares. However, Black Rock decreased its holdings by 187,641 shares from the previous period. The second-largest shareholder was Vanguard Group holding 4.16% of all shares.
The large mutual fund firm increased its position in FPI by 20,006 shares during the reporting period. The third-largest shareholder was Global Alpha Capital Management with a 2.58% position. The fourth-largest was Uniplan Investment Counsel at 1.73% and State Street Global Advisors at 1.71% was the fifth largest. Morgan Stanley, at 1.59%, was seventh on the list followed closely at eight by Wells Fargo with 1.55% and UBS Asset Management at ninth at 1.41%.
Interestingly, TIAA-CREF Investment Management recently acquired additional shares of FPI and holds a little under 0.6% of the firm’s shares. TIAA-CREF earlier this decade acquired Westchester Group, which has in excess of $8 billion of assets and commitments under management, with more than 350 farmland properties under ownership in seven countries in its portfolio.
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