UK – The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has officially amended its Statement of Investment Principles (SIP), allowing for the inclusion of farmland, timberland and emerging market (EM) debt.

The amended SIP was published a week after the UK lifeboat scheme announced the appointment of seven farmland and timberland managers, including Macquarie, Brookfield Asset Management and Hancock Timber Resource Group.

The revised document also expanded the PPF's permissible investment assets to include EM debt – classed in the cash and bond category that targets a strategic allocation of 70% of fund assets, but can fluctuate between 65% and 80%.

The new timberland and farmland assets will sit inside the 20% allocation to alternatives that could expand to account for as much as one-quarter of the PPF's estimated £12bn (€15bn) in assets, currently invested in real estate and infrastructure, among other assets.

The fund's executive director for financial risk Martin Clarke last week announced seven managers that would form part of its timberland and farmland panel – essentially a framework agreement first tendered in February this year.

In addition to Hancock Timber, Brookfield and Macquarie, Dasos Capital Oy, GMO Renewable Resources, New Forest and Stafford Timberland were also selected.

Clarke said the PPF's size now meant it would be able to take advantage of a "broader range" of investments.

"Investing in farm and timberland will complement our existing alternative investment portfolio, allow us to diversify our investments more widely and make our portfolio more resilient," he added.

"But we do need to be aware there are some risks in these asset classes – for instance, land price risk. Therefore, our approach will be to invest conservatively – which is consistent with our overall low-risk strategy."