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Paine Schwartz adds animal health vet as OD

Richard Shuler has highlighted data analysis, food safety and the need for alternatives to antibiotics as key drivers of growth within a consolidating animal health market.

Paine Schwartz Partners has added animal health industry veteran Richard Shuler as an operating director.

Shuler is chairman of the board of directors at MS Biotec, an animal nutrition company into which Paine made an investment of an undisclosed size late last year.

He has served as a senior advisor to New York-headquartered Paine Schwartz since September and began the operating director role last month, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“I look forward to applying my experience building and improving businesses in the animal health industry to help drive performance at current Paine Schwartz portfolio companies, and to help identify new investment opportunities,” Shuler said.

Shuler held positions at pharmaceutical manufacturing firm The Upjohn Company and Cole Chemical before becoming vice-president and general manager for North America at West Des Moines, Iowa-based Syntex Animal Health in 1980, a position he held for 14 years.

He also spent 14 years as president and chief executive at Ivy Animal Health. His time leading Ivy included service as a founding member of Ivy Natural Solutions, a unit devoted to developing non-antibiotic feed alternatives established in 2005.

Paine declined to make Shuler available for an interview.

In a previous interview with trade publication Animal Pharm, Shuler said he expected demand for antibiotics alternatives, growing attention on food safety and the need to analyze vast amount of animal health data will drive investment opportunities going forward.

A market source told Agri Investor Shuler has an established reputation among investors and his hire could provide a hint about recent evolution in Paine Schwartz’s overall strategy.

“They [Paine Schwartz] have been telling everyone that they are developing a strategy, that they are going to do big things and no one knows what the strategy is or what they are going to do. They’ve been a black hole for the rest of us in the industry; we’re all just waiting for them to come out and tell us,” the source said. “They must be getting serious about animal health if they are bringing on Rich Shuler.”

Paine Schwartz is currently seeking $1.2 billion for its Paine Schwartz Food Chain Fund V.