HAIG Seeks To Bolster Acquisitions Of Prime Farmland Properties Across U.S.
Boston– Ken Warlick has been named Director of Acquisitions for the Hancock Agricultural Investment Group (HAIG), Jeff Conrad, HAIG’s president, said today. His appointment is effective immediately.
In this new position, Mr. Warlick, who has nearly 25 years of industry experience, will be responsible for sourcing farmland and orchard properties across the United States to meet the investment objectives of HAIG clients. He will work directly with integrated agri-businesses and farm owner-operators, and his efforts will complement HAIG’s existing acquisitions network.
“The Hancock Agricultural Investment Group continues to grow at a significant pace and we see excellent investment opportunities in the U.S. for our clients,” Mr. Conrad said. “Bringing Ken on board will further strengthen our ability to secure top farmland properties in the U.S. where we can continue to effectively invest our clients’ capital. He brings to HAIG a wealth of experience in all aspects of financial analysis, property evaluation, risk management and contract negotiation within the industry. We’re very pleased to have him join the organization.”
Mr. Warlick is joining HAIG from the John Hancock Life Insurance Bond & Corporate Finance Group where he was Managing Director on the Food Industry investment team. Previously, he had held senior positions with several prominent agribusiness lenders including CoBank, ACB, U.S. Bank Ag Credit and NationsBank. He also had worked at Metropolitan Life Insurance and the Farm Credit Administration.
In the past three years, HAIG, North America’s largest farmland manager for institutional investors, has grown its farmland under management and its commitments from approximately $400 million to more than $860 million. Founded in 1990, HAIG manages nearly 126,000 acres of prime U.S. farmland in major agricultural regions including California, the Midwest, the Mississippi Delta, the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast and more than 7,000 acres of farmland in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia.
The company manages row crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, rice, wheat and peanuts, typically on a lease basis. It typically owns lands with permanent crops, such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, wine grapes, cranberries, apples, citrus fruit, prunes, stone fruit, pears and cherries HAIG is one of North America’s top five growers of almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cranberries and is a key grower of apples, macadamia nuts and wine grapes.
“With globalization of the agricultural industry continuing and trade barriers falling, we believe the United States and other large and efficient producers stand to benefit,” Mr. Conrad said. “As population increases and there are only finite amounts of quality property, farmland is likely to remain a valuable asset class, with attractive attributes for investors.”
Mr. Warlick graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and later earned an M.A. in Agribusiness. He also attended the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. He was previously a board member of the Agricultural Co-op Council and is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the Land Managers Association.
About The Hancock Agricultural Investment Group
HAIG is an operating division of the Hancock Natural Resource Group, a subsidiary of MFC Global Investment Management, the asset management arm of Manulife Financial Corporation. MFC Global Investment Management is the diversified investment management group of Manulife Financial, with investment offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and throughout Southeast Asia. MFC Global has more than 100 years of experience managing portfolios for the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, John Hancock Life Insurance Company, and other major clients. With more than C$230 billion (more than U.S. $205 billion) in assets under management (as at March 31, 2007), MFC Global Investment Management is a leading global investment management group. Additional information about MFC Global Investment Management may be found at www.mfcglobal.com.
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
Editors Note: A photo of Mr. Warlick is available upon request.
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