***Thank you to the 375 attendees of the third annual Global AgInvesting Europe conference. To download the password-protected conference proceedings, click here.***

Monday, 3 December

Pre-Conference Seminar:  Short Course in Ag Fundamentals (Additional Registration Required)

12:30-13:30        Short Course Check-In

13:30-14:15        Exploring the Key Fundamentals Driving Growth in Agriculture Investment
Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, HighQuest Partners

14:15-15:00        Keys to Responsible Ag Investing: Navigating the Risks
Brian Baldwin
Senior Operations Management, Adviser, Programme Management Department, IFAD

15:00-15:30        Coffee Break

15:30-16:15        Implications of Water Scarcity for Institutional Investment in Agriculture
Mahendra Shah,
Former Director, Qatar National Food Security Programme

16:15-17:00        Short Course Question & Answer Session
Moderator: Hans-Willem van Tuyll, Independent Advisor
Our three experts will hold a joint Q&A, allowing for discussion among the lecturers as well as with the audience.

17:00-18:00        Cocktail Reception sponsored by HighQuest Partners and Early Check-In (for all attendees)


Tuesday, 4 December

8:00-9:00             Registration & Coffee

9:00-9:30             Opening Remarks – Investing in Agriculture
Philippe de Lapérouse, Managing Director, 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?


9:30-10:30           Investor Perspectives on Agriculture Investing
Moderator: Mark Moore, Manager, Special Opportunities Group, Bunge Global Agribusiness
Steen Ehlern, Managing Partner, Ferguson Partners Family Office Ltd.
Berry Polmann
, Executive Director, Adveq
Ebba Schmidt, Manager, Responsible Investment and Sustainable Assets, UK Pension Protection Fund

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?


10:30-11:00        Coffee Break

11:00-12:00        Responsible Agriculture Investments
Moderator: Bernd Schanzenbächer, Managing Partner, EBG Capital
Katie Beith, Head of Implementation Support, United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment
Brian BaldwinSenior Operations Management, Adviser, Programme Management Department, IFAD
Christina Olivecrona, Analyst Sustainability, AP Fonden 2
Anton Timpers, Senior Investment Officer, Agribusiness, Food & Water, Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO)

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.


12:00-13:00        Diversified Ag Strategies
Moderator: Eric Haskel, Managing Director, Perella Weinberg Partners
Renatto Barbieri, Portfolio Manager, Global Agribusiness Fund, Galtere, Ltd
Daniel Hough, Agricultural Product Specialist, Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management
Ejnar Knudsen, Managing Member, AGR Partners
Joseph Pescatore, Head of Business Development, Financial Services Group, Bunge Global Agribusiness

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?

13:00-14:30        Networking Lunch

14:30-15:30        Ag Private Equity
Moderator: Barry Breen
, Counsel, Sidley Austin LLP
Patrick Ghidirim
, Managing Director, NCH Capital Russia
Jason Silm
, Head of Agriculture Fund Management, VTB Capital
Juan Pablo Trujillo
, Managing Partner, Pampa Capital
Kian Woon Yap
, Partner, CMIA Capital Partners

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?

15:30-16:00        Coffee Break

16:00-18:00        Concurrent Track Sessions

TRACK A: Emerging Markets Farmland

16:00-17:00        Farmland Opportunities in the Former Soviet Union
Moderator: Dmitri Rylko
, General Director, Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR)

Elliot DaniloffFounder & Managing Partner, Daniloff Capital
Nick Parker
, Director & ChairmanContinental Farmers Group
Joshua Sawchuk, General Manager, International Due Diligence & Farm Management, Farmers Edge

The former Soviet Union offers the opportunity to acquire and operate large tracts of farmland that has some of the best quality soil in the world. After decades of underinvestment in the region’s agricultural sector, implementation of modern agricultural practices is in many instances doubling the productivity of the land. Hear from a panel of leading managers operating in the region who are pursuing different approaches in terms of geography, management structure and execution.

  • What are the particular challenges and opportunities of investing in farmland and other ag assets in the former Soviet Union?
  • What are the particular risks associated with individual countries (land title, access to logistics, etc.) and how do managers address these risks in order to generate returns for their end-investors?
  • What return expectations do end investors have for investments in the Former Soviet Union compared with other geographies?

17:00-18:00        Opportunities in African Agriculture
Moderator: Elizabeth Uwaifo, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
Carter Coleman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Agrica Limited
Elin Ersdal, Head of Department, Industrial Partnerships, Norfund
Jude Uzonwanne, Head of NIRSAL Project Implementation Office, Central Bank of Nigeria

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, these challenges present opportunities.

  • 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 and social responsibility?

TRACK B: Farmland in the Americas

16:00-17:00        South American Farmland
Moderator: Marcus Coester
, Chief Executive Officer, Rio Grande do Sul Development Agency

Matias Bullrich
, Founder, Verde 21
Tim Hornibrook
, Co-Head, Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management
Tim Chamberlain
, Head of Investor Relations, Vision Brazil Investments
Mark McLornan, Head of Agri Investments, Valiance Advisors LLP

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?


17:00-18:00        North American Farmland
Moderator: Frank Plessmann
, President, Agriworld GmbH
Trevor Armitage
, Director of Farmland Fund Development & Operations, Farmers Edge
Phil Christensen
, President, Agriglobe
Stephen Kenney
, Vice President of Business Development, 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?
  • What are the risk implications of the aging farming population in the US and Canada?

18:00-19:00        Networking Cocktail Reception Sponsored by Rio Grande do Sul Development Agency

Wednesday, 5 December

8:30-9:00                Morning Coffee

9:00-10:00              Central & Eastern European Farmland
Moderator: Adam Oliver
, Director, Brown & Co.

Carl Atkin
, Owner & Co-Founder, KinnAgri Limited
Michael Bertram, Director of Private Equity, NCH Advisors Ukraine
Gilles Mettetal, Director Agribusiness, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

While Central and Eastern Europe has some of the most fertile soils in the world (the Black Earth region), agricultural production in the region continues to lag in productivity compared to the major origination of the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and the EU due to inefficient farming practices; underinvestment since the dissolution of the Soviet Union; ambiguous property rights and a lack of sufficient infrastructure.  In the coming decade, increased crop production from this region will be needed in order to meet the world’s growing demand for food, feed, fiber and industrial applications (including mandated biofuels). This is especially true of wheat and oilseeds. A number of managers are investing in the region, introducing leading edge farming practices and technologies to expand production.

10:00-12:30            Concurrent Tracks Continue

TRACK A: Water & Innovation

10:00-10:45              Water Investment Opportunities
Moderator: Peter Kennedy,
 Managing Director, CLSA Capital Partners
Karla Canavan, Commercial Director West, Bunge Environmental Markets
Simon Gottelier, Investment Manager, Impax Asset Management

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?
  • 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?

10:45-11:15        Coffee Break

11:15-12:15         Ag Venture Capital & Opportunities in AgTech
Moderator: Tom Whitehouse
, Chief Executive Officer, Carbon International

Adam Anders, Managing Director, Rabo Private Equity
Blair Fortner
, Director of Economics, Monsanto
Steven Hartmeier
, Chief Executive Officer, Vestaron
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?

TRACK B: Protein Plays
10:00-10:45            Aquaculture & Global Fisheries
Moderator: Drew Cherry, Editorial Director, IntraFish Media
Finnbogi Baldvinsson, Chief Executive Officer, TST GmbH
Thor Arne Talseth, Head of Seafood, Corporate Finance, Arctic Securities
David Tze
, Managing Director, Oceanis Partners

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?
10:45-11:15        Coffee Break

11:15-12:15         Opportunities in Dairy & Livestock
Moderator: Simon Phillips, Research Analyst - Real Assets, Albourne Partners
Forbes Elworthy, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Craigmore Farming
Prem Maan, Managing Director, Southern Pastures
Detlef Schoen, Managing Partner Farm Investments, Aquila Capital Farms Pte. Ltd.
Desmond SheehyManaging Director, Duxton Asset Management

While 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 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 will 2013 be an attractive time to allocate capital to dairy and livestock?
  • 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?

12:15-13:30       Networking Lunch

13:30-14:30        Ag Manager Showcase
Moderator: Greg Duerksen, President, Kincannon & Reed
Forbes Elworthy, Founder & Chief Executive OfficerCraigmore Farming
Tim HornibrookCo-HeadMacquarie Agricultural Funds Management
Mark McLornan, Head of Agri Investments, Valiance Advisors LLP
Jon Vandenheuvel, President & Co-Founder, Africa Atlantic Holdings Ltd

Individual fund managers will present agriculture investment opportunities in a quick-fire showcase.


14:30-15:15        Liquid Ag Investing Strategies
Moderator: Ralf Oberbannscheidt, Partner, Head of Agribusiness, Global Thematic Partners, LLC (GTP)
James Govan, Investment Manager, Global Resources, Baring Asset Management
Jason Lejonvarn, Director of Alternatives, Hermes Fund Managers
Coast Sullenger
, Fund Manager, GAIA Capital Advisors SA

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?


15:15-15:45        Networking Coffee Break


15:45-16:30        Case Study: Can large scale investment play a positive role in promoting food self-sufficiency and development of small scale producers in developing economies?
Moderator: Philippe de LapérouseManaging DirectorHighQuest Partners
James Siggs, Director, MASDAR Corporate Farming Ltd
Catherine Stretch, Project Director, Forbes & Manhattan Inc.
Datu Bunanat Pedro Francisco Hernandez, Administrator, Manobo Tribe

The financial backer, project operator and representatives of the local community comprising small producers integrated into the project will discuss a 14,610 hectare land bank (expected to increase to 40,000 hectares in 12 months) which has been established in the Philippines to produce palm oil on previously deforested land with no damage to rainforest and implementation of RSPO standards has been approved by the Philippines Department of Natural Resources.

  • How can the objectives of both financial investors and local small stakeholders in a large-scale agricultural project achieve their long-term objectives?
  • Is large scale investment in agriculture inimical to the long-term interests of local communities?
  • How should large-scale agricultural projects be structure to ensure that the interests of all participants(investors, managers and the local community) are met?


16:30-17:15       Agricultural Risk Management
Moderator: Jack Farchy, Commodity Markets Reporter, Financial Times
Matt Ammermann, Commodity Risk Manager- Eastern Europe/Black Sea Region, INTLFCStone
Richard Stevens, Executive Director, Research & Product Development, CME Group
Nick Tapp, Head of Agribusiness, Bidwells

With current market volatility, learning more about the risks involved when investing in global farmland, agribusiness, or soft commodities will ensure the highest possible returns. Risk management advisors will provide cutting edge strategies for managing commodity risk and farmland operators will discuss strategies for managing farmland investments for passive investors.


17:15-18:15        Topic-Driven Roundtable Discussions
The conference will conclude with intimate roundtable discussions exploring issues of risk, international law, trade regulations, tax issues, due diligence, manager selection, crop-specific opportunities and more. Drinks will be served at each table.


18:15                       Conference Concludes



If you would like to add your name to the group of thought leaders speaking on this program, contact Jared Rose: +1.212.945.8494 or Kate Westfall: +1.212.920.0738.