Jerry Barag Explains How to Buy Almost 2 Million Acres of Timber for Big Investment Returns

May 22, 2019

Jerry Barag serves as Chief Executive Officer of CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. and is a member of the firm’s board of directors.

He joined the company in 2013 and brings over 30 years of real estate, timberland and investment experience, including expertise in acquisitions, divestitures, asset management, property management and financing. Mr. Barag previously served as a Principal at TimberStar Advisors, an Atlanta-based timberland investment consulting firm, where he specialized in acquiring and managing U.S. timberlands.

From 2004 to September 2011, he served as Managing Director of TimberStar, a timberland investment joint venture of iStar Financial, Inc. and other institutional investors. While at TimberStar, he oversaw the acquisition of more than $1.4 billion of timberlands in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine and Texas.

He previously served at an Atlanta-based investment manager specializing in timberland investment planning and at Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, where he served as Chief Investment Officer and Chairman of the investment committee.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School.

In this exclusive 2,643 word interview in the Wall Street Transcript, Mr. Barag explains in detail what it takes to make his investors rich:

“We looked at where we wanted to buy and own timberland assets for the long term to harvest and sell timber.”

Mr. Barag is competing with some established companies:

“When you look at the competitive landscape, you have two companies — Weyerhaeuser and Potlatch — that have significant manufacturing operations, and so they are using their timberlands as an input for their manufacturing operations in some cases; in other cases, they’re selling timber to the outside world, but less than we do.

And you look at the other competitor, Rayonier, which has a very significant real estate business because a lot of their historical timberlands were close to I-95 on the Florida-Georgia border.

That has obviously turned into much more of a real-estate-oriented activity around land ownership and development than growing trees.

So by comparison, at CatchMark, we are really a pure play.

As of today, we own or control through joint ventures just under 1.6 million acres of timberlands…”

Get the complete picture of CatchMark Timber Trust by reading the entire 2,643 word interview, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript.