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Ranch Investor Found His Inefficient Market in Big Sky Country

Beartooth Group's Robert Keith went looking for a market less picked over than the Wall Street equities world and landed in Montana.

Beartooth’s Jefferson Springs Ranch, a 625-acre property near Three Forks, Montana

Beartooth’s Jefferson Springs Ranch, a 625-acre property near Three Forks, Montana

Photograph by Ami Vitale for Bloomberg Markets

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Beartooth Group invests in ranches. The Bozeman, Mont.-based investment manager has raised a total of about $100 million in a series of private equity funds to buy distressed properties in states such as Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. It typically does conservation work to restore the land and aims to sell the ranches at a profit.

Managing principal Robert Keith took a circuitous path to the business. When he was growing up in Minneapolis, his family fell in love with the West after vacationing in Jackson Hole in Wyoming. His parents eventually bought a ranch in the state as a second home, Keith says, and they moved there around the time he went to Yale.