The Land Report

Winter 2014

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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W I N T E R 2 0 1 4 | The LandReport 19 LANDREPORT.COM FrontGate P R I VAT E EQ U I T Y P R I VAT E EQ U I T Y | A U C T I O N B L O C K | L A N D ' S B E S T F R I E N D | TO P T E N | I N V E S T I N G J ay Ellis had it good. Only a few years ago, he was running Morgan Stanley's institutional sales office in Dallas, overseeing trades for blue-chip clients such as T. Boone Pickens. Fast-forward to 2014. Jay Ellis has it even better. He's running Sporting Ranch Capital, a private-equity firm that acquires distressed ranches, gives them some much-needed TLC, and then markets them as premier fly-fishing properties. And Pickens is now his partner. "Boone is the only investor whose name I'll reveal," Ellis says. Judging from the caliber of the fund's properties and the pent-up demand for hard assets, it's clear his list is top tier. Ellis credits this success to the fact that his fund sources neglected tracts that haven't changed hands in decades. A prime example would be Utah's 204- acre Freestone River Ranch, which is located 20 minutes from Deer Valley. (See images on this page and page 20.) Innovative Fund Turns Water Into Profit Sporting Ranch Capital Brings First Tranche of Offerings to Market Deer Valley looms in the distance. Utah's Freestone River Ranch

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