Dexion Teams With Brown & Co In Farmland Venture

Nov 26 2014 | 11:44am ET

Dexion Capital has teamed with Brown & Co to launch a farmland-focused asset manager

Agricultural Asset Management, which aims to make farmland as an asset class more accessible, will invest in farmland in the U.S., UK, and Central and Eastern Europe.

The firm intends to work with local farmers, sourcing purchases, sharing business risk and income through a combination of land leases, crop share, and custom/contract farming. Agri-AM will also make capital investments to improve under-invested farms and increase output through the adoption of innovative technology and latest farming practices, particularly in regions such as Romania.

Agri-AM aims to exploit trends like rising farmland values and commodity prices, the results of long-term global increases in demand for food combined with a shortage of farmland and capital investment. The firm targets annual returns between 8% and 10%, net of fees.

The venture combines Brown & Co’s local farming, land management and acquisition knowledge with Dexion's investor network and experience in manager selection.

Said Ana Haurie, group managing director of Dexion Capital and CEO of Agricultural Asset Management, in a statement: “Investing in agriculture represents a significant long-term opportunity in terms of returns and diversification. As a real asset, farmland is also a hedge against inflation. Agri-AM has the team and expertise to help investors gain access to this strategy.”

Said Charles Whitaker, managing partner of Brown & Co and CIO of Agri-AM: “Given the backdrop of a long-term demand-supply imbalance in production and with the challenge of extreme climate events, agriculture represents a long-term investment opportunity. The U.S., in particular, is a major global agricultural commodity producer and has one of the most efficient farming industries in the world; as such, it is well placed to benefit from the macro factors affecting agriculture.”

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