A US institutional investor has awarded a US$50m (€43m) mandate to Australian sustainable farmland manager Kilter Rural to invest in agriculture and water assets.

The unnamed investor, believed to be from the financial services sector, has been talking to Kilter Rural for over two years to increase its exposure to the Australian market, Kilter Rural said.

Cullen Gunn, Kilter Rural’s CEO told IPE Real Assets that the company managed mandates and operated three open funds. It was expecting another commitment of “A$20m to A$30m” from a local institution.

Kilter Rural was founded in 2004 specifically to carry out sustainable farming and water management.

“It was in response to a request from an institutional investor (VicSuper, since merged with Aware Super) wanting to invest A$200m on the regeneration of farmland and to deliver sustainable food,” Gunn said.

“We have a history of marrying returns with the natural capital impact across all our mature funds and mandates, delivering returns of between 9% and 14% to our investors.”

Kilter Rural currently manages 12,000 hectares of farmland and 20 gigalitres of water entitlements.

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