JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has said the timber business is going to be a “great thing” for the Wall Street giant, after the company snapped up a lumber investment firm during a boom in the market.
Speaking about the purchase of lumber asset manager Campbell Global after the bank’s strong earnings on Tuesday, Dimon said: “Timber assets is going to be a great thing for asset management.”
JPMorgan snapped up Campbell at the end of June. The Oregon-based company has around $5.6 billion of assets under management and specialises in global timberland investment.
The purchase came after a huge rally in lumber prices that attracted hedge funds and other investors into the previously unremarkable market.
Lumber prices soared above $1,700 per thousand board feet in May, having started the year at around $715, thanks to a home improvement craze and a hot US housing market. Prices have since wiped out their 2021 gains.
However, JPMorgan said it bought Campbell to gain a foothold in the growing market for forest-carbon offsets, rather than to try to benefit from higher lumber prices.
On JPMorgan’s earnings call on Tuesday, chief financial officer Jeremy Barnum said ESG-or environmental, social and governance investing-is a key theme the bank is focusing on.
At the time of the purchase, the bank said its move into timber and lumber was “filling an asset class gap in an attractive market while also supporting sustainability goals.”
On Tuesday, Dimon said he has been thrilled by JPMorgan’s recent spate of purchases, which includes UK digital wealth app Nutmeg.
The JPMorgan boss said some of the numerous company purchases “may not work well, but that will be OK.”