European asset manager, Insight Investment, has appointed Shankar Athreya as head of farmland investments, based in London.
Athreya, previously global head of strategy and business development at Olam International, will work alongside a former Olam colleague, David Beca, who is now Insight's head of farmland management. Olam International is a Singapore-based agricultural business.
At Olam, Athreya led mergers, acquisitions, investments, joint ventures and disposals in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade in investment banking.
To date Insight has advised on investments in livestock, dairy and arable farmland in Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Poland and Romania.
Athreya will report to Reza Vishkai, head of agriculture.
Vishkai says sophisticated investors are increasingly recognising the strong secular forces supporting the development of the farming sector as an asset class.
"The issue for clients is how to access it in an effective way and on a global basis. Ultimately, in our view, investors should adopt an active approach towards the origination, acquisition and management of these assets."
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