HAIG expands acquisitions team

The US-focused farmland investment firm is beefing up its acquisition team after hiring Brett MacNeil as director of acquisitions. It is also looking for an investment analyst.

Hancock Agricultural Investment Group, the US-focused farmland investment firm, has hired Brett MacNeil as the firm’s new director of acquisitions and vice president, to start immediately, as the firm works on expanding its five-strong team, according to a source close to the situation.

HAIG is currently hiring for an investment analyst, according to careers website, retirementjobs.com.

MacNeil’s new position is not a new one at Hancock; Ken Warlick held it for over six years until last May when he left and joined AgIS as chief investment officer, a start-up agricultural investment firm in Boston, in July 2013, according to LinkedIn. It is understood that Brent Reed, West Coast acquisitions manager at HAIG, filled the position in the interim, according to a source familiar with the matter.

MacNeil will be based in Boise, Idaho and will report to Oliver Williams, president at HAIG. His main role will be leading HAIG’s farmland acquisition program, including due diligence, sourcing and strategic partnership opportunities domestically and internationally. In this role he will work most closely with Mike Rivard, chief acquisition officer for the Hancock Natural Resource Group.

“As we continue to grow our business, we are very pleased to have Brett join us,” wrote Williams in a press release. “He brings a wealth of agricultural experience with more than 20 years in the agribusiness industry focused on farmland management and acquisitions.”

Before joining HAIG, MacNeil was the president of Scythe and Spade, a farm management and real estate services company, for over 15 years. He also gained agribusiness experience working at Southwest Agribusiness Services and Farm Credit Services Southwest.

HAIG, part of the Hancock Natural Resources Group, was founded in 1990, and is part of the Manulife Asset Management Group. It reported $2.1 billion of assets under management at the end of 2013.

HAIG had not responded to requests for comment when Agri Investor went to press.

Additional reporting by Louisa Burwood-Taylor