Gresham House Asset Management is taking over a UK forestry manager as part of a move into real assets.

The alternative investment manager is buying Scottish firm Aitchesse for £7.7m (€10.8m).

The deal is expected to complete this month.

Perth-based Aitchesse has £193m in assets under management for endowments, family offices and private investors.

The company has previously advised the Church Commissioners on its purchase of a UK forestry portfolio.

Gresham House Asset Management managing director Rupert Robinson said the company would also invest in Aitchesse’s infrastructure and asset management resources.

“The attraction of investing in trees is that they grow irrespective of whether financial markets are rising or falling,” he said.

“They grow not only in volume but also become more valuable as they mature.”

With IPD’s UK Annual Forestry index outperforming equities and bonds over the last 20 years, Robinson said forestry offered investors a “unique combination of long-term, superior, risk-adjusted returns”. 

Digby Guy, founder and chairman of Aitchesse, said: “We believe strongly in the long-term investment opportunity in UK forestry, and, in Gresham House, we have a partner that will enable us to capitalise on the team’s expertise in forestry management while increasing awareness and accessibility to this attractive asset class.”