David Goodfellow leaves CEO role at OTPP’s AustOn Corporation

The former Rifa Salutary and Paraway Pastoral Company CEO has left OTPP’s Australian arm to launch his own asset management firm, The Clearbrook Group.

David Goodfellow has left his role as chief executive of AustOn Corporation, the ag-focused Australian subsidiary of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Goodfellow left AustOn in November 2019 to set up a new venture, The Clearbrook Group.

Agri Investor understands The Clearbrook Group is an asset management business that is likely to focus on broadacre cropping and permanent crops.

When contacted by Agri Investor, Goodfellow declined to comment other than to say: “It’s probably not appropriate for me to comment about OTPP, other than to say I have always wished them well in their search for a new CEO.”

An OTPP spokesman confirmed Goodfellow’s departure. In response to a question about whether the leadership change would affect OTPP’s activities in Australian agriculture, the spokesman said: “We remain committed to investing in Australia and are currently searching for a new CEO for AustOn.”

AustOn was founded by OTPP to manage its agricultural investments in Australia and oversee the expansion of its interests in the country.

Goodfellow told Agri Investor in 2018 that the Canadian pension was looking to invest up to A$1 billion ($0.57 billion; €0.53billion) in Australian agriculture. Its initial focus had been on horticulture and permanent crops, holding significant plantings of almonds and avocados.

Prior to his role with AustOn, Goodfellow was chief executive of Rifa Salutary Pastoral Company from 2014 to 2018, helping to develop the company’s beef production and supply chain capabilities in the country. Rifa Salutary, an Australian subsidiary of China’s Zhejiang Rifa Holding Group, put its portfolio of grazing properties in New South Wales and Victoria up for sale last year.

Goodfellow also spent almost four years at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets where he ran the firm’s livestock platform, Paraway Pastoral Company, before moving on to serve as group general manager at Elders Rural Services.