ResponsAbility Investments, the Zurich-based development-focused asset manager, is looking for a Peru-based investment officer for its agriculture portfolio.
The new hire will replace ResponsAbility’s former agri sector investment officer and will be responsible for identifying prospects and originating and nurturing business relations with producers and agri-value chain organisations in Latin America, Agri Investor learned.
The firm is also hiring for a transaction officer for agriculture to be based in Mumbai, India.
As of the end of 2014, ResponsAbility had a total of $126 million invested in the agricultural sector, a 42 percent increase from 2013 ($89 million). The investments are spread across 95 directly-financed companies active in 42 countries with Latin America representing 40 percent of all assets in the agricultural portfolio, Ulli Janett, a company spokesperson told Agri Investor. The fund invests in companies across the entire agricultural value chain including smallholder farmers, importers and traders.
Founded in April 2003, the firm currently has $2.6 billion of assets under management. “We introduced a dedicated fund for agricultural investments in late 2011 that is now in its fourth year and performing well,” Janett said in an email. “In regions with more fragile ecological systems, organic certification is still required to ensure the protection of the environment. The proportion of products financed by ResponsAbility institutions that have alternative certifications rose by 8 percent in 2014, reflecting ResponsAbility’s move into new commodities and geographies where traditional certifications are less common.”
“The potential level of investment needed to upgrade the production capacity of smallholder agricultural systems in developing countries is estimated to be close to $90 billion annually,” ResponsAbility said in an annual publication regarding development investments. “The gap in investment currently stands at around $80 billion. Access to credit enables producer organisations to invest in farmers and in companies servicing the value chain to enable them to scale up their activities, thus harnessing the opportunities created by the growing demand for food.”