Insight makes new farmland investment hire

Tom McKeon was previously chief executive officer at Hassad Australia, the food and agribusiness subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority.

Global agriculture fund manager Insight Investment, owned by BNY Mellon, has hired Tom McKeon as head of portfolio oversight in the farmland investment team.

McKeon joined Insight from Hassad Australia, the food and agribusiness subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority where he was chief executive officer for five years. He was responsible for the establishment, oversight and management of Hassad’s operations in the country, including fourteen grain and livestock aggregations producing around 200,000 tonnes of grains and around 120,000 lambs per year across 300,000 hectares.

Now based in London, McKeon is advising portfolio companies on the direction of overall and day-to-day business.

Insight recently hired Shankar Athreya as head, farmland investments, from global agribusiness Olam.

Its first fund, which closed on $250 million in 2013, is now fully invested into dairy, beef and mixed grains farms across Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Poland and Romania.The firm is thought to be fundraising for a second vehicle, according to several sources, Agri Investor reported last year. However, Insight refused to comment at the time.

Insight managed £407 billion ($603bn) as of the end of last year. The firm invests in liability-driven investment, fixed income and currency, global multi-asset and absolute return, global farmland and specialist equities.

McKeon has been replaced at Hassad by John McKillop, who was previously chairman for the agribusiness investors and think tank the Corporate Agriculture Group, as well as being a non-executive director at Dairy Australia.