***Conference Proceedings: Click here to view approved conference presentations (password required). The password can be found in your on-site program guide on the first page of the black and white section.***
Monday, April 23
Pre-Conference Seminar: Short Course in Ag Fundamentals For investors interested in developing a deeper understanding of the compelling fundamentals driving the ag sector. Hear from leading analysts, academics and economists.
12:00-1:30 – Registration for Short Course Attendees
1:30-2:15 – Agriculture as an Emerging Asset Class
Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners
2:15-3:00 – Global Fundamentals to 2020
William Wilson, Professor of Agribusiness and Economics, North Dakota State University
3:00-3:30 – Coffee Break
3:30-4:15 – The Role of Water Resources in Farmland Valuations
Jud Hill, Managing Director, NGP Global Adaptation Partners
4:15-5:00 – Short Course Question & Answer Session
Moderator: Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer, Milltrust International Group
Our three experts will hold a joint Q&A which will allow for discussion among the lecturers as well as with the audience.
5:00-6:00 – Cocktail Reception Sponsored by HighQuest Partners and Early Check-In (for all attendees)
Tuesday, April 24, 20127:00-8:00 – Conference Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00-8:30 – Opening Remarks – Investing in Agriculture
Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners
Bill Kiernan, Director, GAI Research & Insight, HighQuest Partners
- What is the current status of agriculture as an asset class and what have been the major developments within the past year?
- How should investors think about the different exposures (both liquid and illiquid) when developing their agriculture portfolio?
- What are the choices and what are the associated risk/return trade-offs they must consider?
8:30-9:30 – End Investor Perspectives on Agriculture Investing
Moderator: Michael Acton, Managing Director, AEW Capital Management
Brian Baumhover, Associate Private Markets, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Rajesh Behal, Chief Investment Officer, Global Agribusiness, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Tomas Franzén, Chief Investment Strategist, AP Fonden 2
Jens Henrik Staugaard Johansen, Managing Partner, Pensionskassernes Administration (PKA A/S)
Devon Olson, Director - Real Estate, Utah State Retirement Systems
Investments in agriculture are expected to increase from 1% to 5% of institutional portfolios within the next five years. Hear from an international panel of trailblazing institutional and family office investors who will discuss their experiences exploring and allocating capital to this emerging asset class.
- What is the role of ag within the broader portfolio?
- What was the research process used before making the decision to invest in the agriculture sector?
- How much weight is put on liquid vs. illiquid vehicles in the ag space?
- How does farmland resemble timber? How does it differ?
- How should one identify and select managers?
- How does one perform due diligence on a farm manager?
9:30-10:15 – KEYNOTE ADDRESS: "How I See the World Today and What I am Doing About It"
Jim Rogers, Investment Expert and Author
10:15-10:45 – Coffee Break
10:45-11:45 – Diversified Ag Strategies
Moderator: Joseph F. Pescatore, Head of Business Development, Financial Services Group, Bunge Global Agribusiness
Renatto Barbieri, Portfolio Manager, Global Agribusiness Fund, Galtere, Ltd
Bill Goodbar, Managing Director, INTL Provident Group
Jose Minaya, Managing Director, Head of Natural Resources and Infrastructure Investments, TIAA-CREF
Berry Polmann, Executive Director, Adveq Management AG
As most strategies in the ag space currently are narrowly focused, investors place commitments with multiple managers who offer a single strategy. Learn from this group of industry veterans how a number of single managers are providing investors with diversified offerings internally.
- How important is diversification in an agriculture investment portfolio?
- What are the different models managers pursue to provide diversification (global farmland vs. family of funds vs. multi-manager vs. vertical investments along the supply chain)?
- What degree of diversification do the various models provide?
- What are the trade-offs for end investors between a single diversified strategy and making multiple commitments to achieve diversification within their own allocation?
11:45-12:45 – South American Farmland
Moderator: Marcus Coester, Chief Executive Officer, Rio Grande do Sul Development Agency
Alyssa Grikscheidt, Partner, Sidley Austin
Tim Hornibrook, Co-Head, Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management,Macquarie
Amaury Junior, Co-Founder & CIO, Vision Brazil Investments
Marshall Thomas, Director, Farm & Forestry Management Services
Over the past five years, South American agriculture has attracted more capital inflow than any other region. Agribusiness in South America operates on a massive scale, with individual farms comprising tens of thousands of hectares. The continent represents diverse agricultural region offering a wide range of investment opportunities.
- What will be the main drivers of returns over the next decade?
- How do political, currency, and climactic risk differ between South American nations?
- What are the challenges and return expectations of different strategies such as pasture conversion vs. acquiring developed cropland vs. mixed development of timber and cropland?
12:45-1:45 – Networking Lunch
1:45-2:45 – Ag Private Equity
Moderator: Eric Haskel, Managing Director, Perella Weinberg Partners
Benjamin Fishman, Managing Principal, Arlon Group, LLC
Sebastian Popik, Managing Partner, Aqua Capital Partners
Kevin Schwartz, Partner, Paine & Partners
Jason Silm, Head of Agriculture Fund Management, VTB Capital
Within the illiquid ag investment models, much of the focus is on farmland and primary production agriculture. Gain alternative perspective from private equity managers whose strategies focus on various downstream activities along the supply chain, including processing, storage, transportation/logistics, protein production and more, representing ag exposure with very different risk and return profiles.
- What are the most compelling private equity plays within agriculture and its surrounding themes?
- What is the typical deal size and return expectation for these strategies?
- How do supply chain strategies compare to pure plays in primary production?
- How does ag private equity compare to direct investments, farmland funds, venture capital and ag public equities for the end investor in terms of risks and returns?
2:45-3:15 – Coffee Break sponsored by Resource Land Holdings
3:15-5:00 – Concurrent Sessions
3:15-4:15 – Venture Capital
Moderator: Arama Kukutai, Managing Director, Finistere Ventures
Adam Anders, Managing Director, Rabo Ventures
Joe Hudson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, One Earth Capital
Ron Meeusen, Founding Partner, Cultivian Ventures
Dave Smardon, Managing Partner, Bioenterprise Capital
As investors at every level are considering scarcity-driven investments, venture capital investors are eyeing agriculture technologies as a way forward from some of the disappointments from cleantech in the past decade. Savvy investors are looking for IP in precision technology, soil monitoring, seed trait genetics, irrigation systems, crop protection and more.
- How can venture capitalists access agriculture as an asset class?
- What are the needs of farmers looking at new tech to improve efficiencies and increase revenues?
- With major agribusinesses forming their own venture investment arms, do mainstream VCs stand a chance of getting in on the ground floor of a truly disruptive ag technology?
- What is the outlook for agtech deal flow?
- How can the most disruptive technologies be made affordable for the farmer?
- How does the due diligence process differ between agtech and cleantech?
- Will acquisitions by major agribusiness be the go-to exit, or will IPOs still play a role?
- With so few success stories to reference, will trepidation trump temerity?
4:15-5:00 – Ag Biotech
Moderator: Paul Ulanch, Director, Biotechnology Crops Development, North Carolina Biotechnology Center
Kirk Haney, Chief Executive Officer, SG Biofuels
Joshua Hofheimer, Counsel, Sidley Austin
Cheraé Robinson, Development Officer, Strategic Partnerships, CIMMYT
From the days of the Flavr Savr Tomato to Round-up Ready to the more recent Frankenfood frenzy, international public perception is now beginning to shift to at least consider agricultural biotechnology as food prices have doubled in the last three years. The right technology can positively impact the trajectory of the global food system, but in the biotech business that can be a 12-year proposition.
- What lessons were learned from the first generation of biotech?
- What are the challenges to farmers growing the next generation?
- How can we expedite the process from back crop to commercial crop?
- How does ag biotech resemble life sciences from an investment perspective?
- What are the needs of the major agribusinesses, and where will the biggest advances arise?
- Who is really taking advantage of new technologies?
- What are the hurdles when it comes to public perception in Europe and beyond? Are there regulatory and trade issues to consider?
- What are the possibilities for crops specific to biofuel production?
- Is the public ready for continued genetic improvement of livestock?
- What are the different ways of doing deals in the space? Royalties, FTE payments, milestones and more …
3:15-4:15 – Central & Eastern European/Former Soviet Union Farmland
Moderator: Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners
Dmitri Rylko, General Director, Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR)
John Shmorhun, President, Harmelia Holdings
Peter Thomson, Deputy CEO, Ukrainian Agrarian Investments
Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union present opportunities to acquire and produce on large-scale tracts of some of the best quality land in the world. After decades of underinvestment, the implementation of modern agricultural practices can often double the productivity of the land. Hear from a panel of leading managers in the Black Earth region with varying approaches in terms of geography, structure and execution.
- What are the particular challenges and opportunities in this region compared to the global landscape?
- What can investors expect with regards to risk profiles in CEE/FSU country to country, and how do active managers tackle these issues to ensure success?
- How do the return expectations in the region compare to other geographies?
4:15-5:00 – Transportation & Infrastructure
Moderator: Jamie Garrett, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners
Bruce Kahn, Director, Senior Investment Analyst, Deutsche Asset Management
Shane Knutson, Director of International Sales, Ag Growth International
Mark Zenuk, Managing Director, NGP Global Adaptation Partners
As more uncultivated farmland comes into play worldwide, transporting increased crop volumes to market is likely to experience more frequent bottlenecks. Emerging markets will require massive investments for greenfield projects while the developed world struggles to make improvements to infrastructure that has been deteriorating for decades. Estimates indicating that over $2 trillion is needed in the US alone, underscore the great need for private capital to finance infrastructure development and repairs, and the potential for steady returns from a long-term investment.
- With major ag potential in uncultivated territory, the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2014 World Cup, as well as a supportive political climate, how can investors take advantage immediate infrastructure opportunities in Brazil?
- What are the challenges of working in P3, PE, BOO, BOT and concessions?
- How does one find the right partner for a long-term investment, especially when working internationally?
- What kind of risk-return profiles can be expected from the different sectors along the supply chain, including shipping, toll roads, rail, storage facilities, etc.?
- How does one navigate through federal, municipal, and provincial governments?
- Which countries offer the most welcoming environment for investors?
5:00-7:00 – Networking Cocktail Reception Sponsored by NGP Global Adaptation Partners
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
7:30-8:30 – Continental Breakfast
8:30-10:30 – Concurrent Sessions Continue
8:30-9:30 – Water: Navigating the Waters and Finding Global Opportunities in a Local Resource
Moderator: Francesca McCann, Managing Director, Global Water Strategies
William Brennan, Portfolio Manager & Principal, Summit Global Management
Disque Deane, Jr., Chief Investment Officer & Co-Founder, Water Asset Management
David Henderson, Managing Director, XPV Capital
William Malarkey, Managing Director, Boenning & Scattergood
Demand for water is expected to double in the next twenty years, with some analysts putting the need for worldwide water investment at over $800 billion within the next decade. Without rapid market penetration, a simple trading scheme, or even a clear understanding of water rights between states, let alone internationally, water poses a real challenge to investors who view it clearly as an opportunity while lacking an obvious implementation strategy.
- What are the real economic opportunities in water now?
- Where will the returns come from ten years from now?
- What are the friction points that need to be addressed before water can be considered a legitimate, stand-alone asset class?
- Water as part of the ag portfolio: how does water affect farmland valuations and how will that change as the resource becomes more scarce?
- Will wet water assets find a trading platform in the US?
- How does water resemble and differ from the rest of the natural resources portfolio?
- Will major deals in the near future happen in urban or rural water infrastructure?
- What are the challenges and potential successes of different water strategies, including VC, PE, water ETFs, water-for-energy, and water utility equities?
9:30-10:30 – Enabling Technologies
Moderator: Billy Cook, Senior Vice President and Division Director, Agricultural Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Wade Barnes, President, Farmers Edge
Dan Dougherty, Manager, Business Development, John Deere & Company
Ricardo Mussa, Chief Executive Officer, RADAR Propriedades Agricolas S.A.
Alison Sunstrum, Co-Chief Executive Officer, GrowSafe Systems
A variety of modern technologies will help to enhance investor returns in agriculture, including GIS analysis of potential land acquisitions, GPS-guided precision agriculture, soil monitoring systems, animal diagnostics, and more. Hear from some of the leading providers of these enabling technologies and discover how they will help farm managers improve yields, soil health and investor returns.
8:30-9:30 – Opportunities in Dairy & Livestock
Moderator: Mark White, Senior Real Assets Analyst, Albourne Partners
Alan Boyce, Executive Chairman, Materra
Prem Maan, Managing Director, Southern Pastures Limited
Warren Taylor, Agribusiness Director, Greenfield Capital Advisors
Bradley Wheaton, Agricultural Product Specialist, Macquarie
Much of the current public and media perception of ag investing centers on farmland and infrastructure involved in major commodity crop production, active institutional investors have been financing permanent crops and animal protein production for many years. With increasing demand for more varied diets across the developed world and the dramatic shift from grain-based diets to animal protein consumption occurring in developing economies, opportunities for investing in these ag sub-sectors are increasing and attracting significant levels of investment capital.
- What are the fundamental drivers that are creating opportunities for investment in these sectors?
- Why is 2012 an attractive time to allocate capital to dairy and livestock?
- Why does an allocation to permanent crops make sense for a diversified portfolio?
- What different operating models have been developed in order to realize attractive returns for investors?
- Which types of production and regions of the world present attractive opportunities for these products?
- What additional items investors should consider when reviewing investment opportunities outside of row crops?
9:30-10:30 – Aquaculture
Moderator: Michael Cremer, Global Director for Aquaculture, U.S. Soybean Export Council
Dexter Paine, Founding Partner, Paine + Partners
Michael Rubino, Director, Aquaculture Office, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Thor Arne Talseth, Head of Seafood - Corporate Finance, Arctic Securities
David Tze, Managing Director, Aquacopia, Oceanis
The world’s wild fish stocks are depleting due to issues associated with climate change as well as commercial overfishing. Global aquaculture production will have to increase to satisfy the growing demand for animal protein, particularly fish protein in Asia. From genetically modified salmon to environmental challenges, this nascent industry faces hurdles including public perception risks as well as safety and traceability issues. But with these challenges come limitless possibilities for new technologies, processes, habitats and feed.
- How are investors looking at this space, and where are the most immediate opportunities?
- What are the investment opportunities for fishmeal replacement?
- What are the environmental concerns with large-scale aquaculture operations, and how are these being addressed?
- How can institutional investors include aquaculture in the overall portfolio?
- Where in the world are the best risk/return profiles for aquaculture?
10:30-11:00 – Coffee Break
General Session Resumes
11:00-12:00 – Liquid Ag Investing Strategies
Moderator: Stephen Williams, Senior Researcher, Mercer
Paul Erickson, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Agri-Access
David Fassnacht, Partner and Portfolio Manager, Global Agriculture, Wellington Management Company
Ejnar Knudsen, Portfolio Manager and Principal, Craton Capital Management
Craig Tashjian, Principal & Founding Partner, Amerra Capital
In today’s unpredictable economy, many investors look to increase their exposure to agriculture while maintaining a certain level of liquidity. Publicly listed ag equities, commodity future index funds, ag focused hedge funds and ag lending strategies provide investors with a more traditional exposure to the ag theme. Liquid investment in ag requires the same focus and specialization as illiquid investment strategies. Hear from leading managers about the opportunities in this segment of the market.
- What are the different liquid strategies available to investors?
- How do these strategies relate to the illiquid portfolio – in particular farmland?
- What are the right questions for investors to ask when pursuing a liquid ag investment strategy?
12:00-1:00 – North American Farmland
Moderator: Andrew Hoffmann, Investment Solutions - Alternative Investments, PIMCO
Charlie McNairy, Chief Executive Officer, International Farming Corporation
Gary Pike, Chief Executive Officer, Broadacre Agriculture
Hunt Stookey, Director, Agricultural Investments, AEW Capital Management
Oliver Williams, President, Hancock Agricultural Investment Group
North America is the most mature market for farmland investment, with a history of institutional ownership dating back decades. While it does not offer the return potential of the developing world, the U.S. and Canada still provide a very attractive opportunity for investors with appropriate objectives. Hear from a panel of managers with different strategies for how they approach the North American market.
- Where are the opportunities geographically and by crop?
- How do managers add value to enhance returns?
- Will the inflow of investment capital move the markets?
- How will the 2012 farm bill affect the investment community?
- What are the risk implications of the aging farming population in the US?
1:00-2:15 – Networking Lunch
2:15-3:15 – African Farmland
Moderator: Angus Selby, Senior Principal (Agriculture), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Francisco Lobo de Vasconcellos, Investment Director – Agribusiness, Norfund
Desmond Sheehy, Chief Investment Officer, Duxton Asset Management
Heinrich von Pezold, Executive Director, Rift Valley Holdings
Geoffrey White, Chief Executive Officer & Director, Lonrho Plc
With a sizable percentage of the globe’s reserves of potential rain-fed cropland, Africa will one day become a breadbasket for both domestic and export markets. As most of the continent has never employed modern techniques for agricultural production, processing and transportation, producers often lack basic infrastructure, crop varieties optimized for local conditions and other tools commonly available in more developed regions. However, for the handful of managers pioneering agricultural production in Africa, returns outweigh these challenges.
- Where are the most attractive opportunities in Africa?
- What are the particular political challenges and how have the managers addressed them?
- How can managers assure transparency in their negotiations of large-scale land acquisitions and long-term concessions?
- How do managers’ strategies in Africa address the issues of smallholders?
- Which organizations are providing investment guarantees for foreign investors?
3:15-4:15 - Responsible Investing in Agriculture
Moderator: Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners
Grahame Dixie, Agribusiness Unit Team Leader, Agriculture and Rural Development, World Bank
Maria Lettini, Global Outreach Manager, United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
Joshua Levin, Senior Program Officer, Finance & Commodities, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Antonio ValleNeto, US/CA Manager, Bunge Emissions Group
Development of large-scale agriculture is considered a key factor to ensuring the ability to feed a growing world population. Yet, as institutional and corporate investment in large-scale agriculture expands, tensions have arisen over the potential displacement of smallholders and the risk of environmental degradation of undeveloped lands. While there have been abuses, agricultural operations backed by institutional investors generally have a strong sense of social, economic and environmental stewardship. Hear from leading players in the global agricultural investment arena about how they champion the triple bottom line as well as new business models that are being developed to sustainably increase agriculture production.
4:15-4:30 – Closing Remarks
4:30 – Conference Concludes
THIS AGENDA IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
If you would like to add your name to the group of thought leaders speaking on this program, contact Jared Rose: 212.945.8494 or Kate Westfall: 212.920.0738.