Thursday, May 10, 2012

We've Moved

The AgReturn Team will now be blogging at our new blog, which offers insights and ideas on alternative investments from IIR's Finance Division.

Please look for our updates at Inalternatives.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What We Learned from World Water Day (WWD) 2012

Last week, on March 22nd, the world celebrated World Water Day, which was initially launched in 1993. This year the focus was on Water and Food Security: The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry, the 2012 campaign was the biggest ever of its history.

Below we've rounded up a list of interesting WWD articles and facts to help guide your WaterReturns and water driven investment strategies:

Harnessing the bacteria naturally occurring in water and using solar energy are just two innovations that may help bring clean drinking water to the world's poor. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity, the UN estimates.

WRI partnered with several businesses to develop new tools and resources to collect global water data. WRI’s Aqueduct project aims to meet the growing demand for information about present water supply and future risks. Launched last fall, with support from GE, Goldman Sachs, and others, Aqueduct collects, combines, and maps comprehensive data on water and related risks for businesses and investors.

Try the NatGeo interactive map on the water footprint of U.S. consumption.
Infographics and Maps:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Last Opportunity to Register: AgReturn San Francisco March 13-15, 2012

This is your last chance to register for next week’s groundbreaking Agriculture and Water Investment Conference, AgReturn San Francisco, March 13-15th.

Secure your place now to ensure you don’t miss out on discussions surrounding the opportunities in agriculture assets, agribusiness equities, farmland plays and primary production innovation.

Seasoned veterans such as John Denniston of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Oliver Flake of the USDA, Angelos Dassios of Paine + Partners, Robert Anfuso of Summit Global Management, Jacqueline Herd of Monsanto, Andrew Ziolkowski of Cultivian Ventures and Michael Lassner of DuPont Agriculture Biotechnology will discuss tactics for navigating the shifting agriculture landscape.

Agenda highlights include novel panel discussions on water rights and conservation technology, private equity and venture strategies, diversifying ag portfolios, and opportunities in public verse private markets.

Don’t miss your chance partake in this innovative and thought provoking event! 

Register now for three days of unrivaled networking, intensive education, and concrete investment opportunities in agriculture and water.

We'll see you there!

To register for the conference, visit Attendees can register for all three days at one low price or make the choice to attend the Agriculture 2.0 Symposium or Main Conference only.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Global Agribusiness: How to Stir a Sleeping Giant

Law Firm’s Global Agri-Biz Practice Head Connects ALL the Dots in AgWire Interview

By Marc Dresner, IIR

Joshua Hofheimer, an attorney with Sidley Austin LLP and coordinator of the firm’s global agribusiness practice, isn’t the first to refer to the sector as a sleeping giant.

But he is among an exclusive handful of experts capable of connecting the dots—and the players—necessary to stir global agribusiness from its slumber.

Couple population growth and resource scarcity—they’re not making any more land or water—with undervalued assets, under-production and runaway technological innovation and you have a compelling investment equation.

So why hasn’t the global agribusiness market rocketed off? Well, the math isn’t as simple as it seems.

Hofheimer noted CropLife estimates time-to-market—from discovery to commercialization—of a biotech trait is about 13 years, the cost has risen to approximately $130 million per trait and the regulatory timeframe has doubled to roughly four years.

In addition, there’s a coverage deficiency that’s impeding the flow of venture capital to where it’s needed.

Joshua Hofheimer
“We are still fragmented when you start to look at the inflection points or the intersection between technology and what some people call clean tech and how that influences or overlaps with agriculture in certain areas and the life sciences,” said Hofheimer. “When you start to integrate those different segments into a business or into a business model, the research coverage breaks down because it becomes fragmented.”

Ah, but therein lies the opportunity. Hofheimer and his colleagues aren’t waiting for analysts to catch up; they’re matchmaking.

“When you bring together activists’ interests, entrepreneurial spirit, technology and commercial enterprise, that’s when you will see more and more exciting companies with new ideas that are going to have a really big and innovative impact in this market, and also have a beneficial impact on our environment,” Hofheimer told AgWire.

“I just want to be a part of it by helping to bring companies together and ideas together… We have a great platform for helping those companies to develop and mature, and for those bigger companies to compete on a global scale, and to help investors find and structure some really interesting opportunities,” he added.

In this episode of AgWire, Hofheimer provides a comprehensive overview of the global agribusiness frontier, including:

• Development and commercialization processes
• Global regulatory strategy
• Technological advancement and innovation
• Partnering opportunities and more…

Listen to this episode of AgWire: Part I & Part II

Download an interview transcript.

Editor’s note:Hear more from Josh Hofheimer in person. He’s chairing AgReturn San Francisco March 13-15. For more information or to register, click here.

AgWire is an executive interview series featuring the business leaders, investment experts, innovators and entrepreneurs at the forefront of the agriculture industry. Each episode explores the trends, technologies and drivers shaping the world of agriculture today.

Marc Dresner is IIR's sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Attend AgReturn San Francisco 2012?

° Diversify your portfolio
° Hedge against inflation
° Gain access to exclusive content for innovators and investors
° Expand your network
° Explore opportunities in water rights and technology
° Strengthen your knowledge of need-to-know investment themes

AgReturn San Francisco 2012 is a unique kind of agriculture investment conference--one that embraces the surrounding themes of agriculture, real assets, and scarcity-driven investments.

This event delivers comprehensive strategy discussions on everything from public equities to innovations in precision technology, to mature markets farmland plays, water rights and efficiency.

Building upon the past attendance of over 250 investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders, attendees this year includes foreign and institutional investors.

To see a sample of companies who have attended in the past, click here.
To see full program details, click here to download the brochure.

Weaving together investment themes of global farmland and commodities as well as agribusiness equities, and innovations in conservation technology, this invigorating forum is a must-attend event.

Who Attends AgReturn events?

Private equity, hedge fund, and commodities investors  
Impact investors
Pension funds, endowments, foundations  
Food and agriculture corporate leaders
Venture capitalists  
Food and agriculture
Family offices, high net-worth individuals, angel investors  
Agribusiness industry professionals
 √ Service providers to all of the above

For further agenda details, information about our speaker forum and to register click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AgReturn San Francisco: Register by this Friday and save up to $200

We wanted to let you know that an updated brochure is now available online for AgReturn San Francisco. Be sure to check out our brand new sessions and prestigious speaker additions. To see the most up to date agenda, please download the latest brochure here.

AgReturn San Francisco is a unique agriculture investment conference--one that embraces the surrounding themes of agriculture, real assets, and scarcity-driven investments. Join us, March 13th-15th, for three full days of senior level discussion focused on agriculture investment opportunities in mature markets and how best to take advantage of this rapidly growing sector.  

Register by this Friday, February 17th to save $200! 

The conference will weave together investment themes of global farmland and commodities as well as agribusiness and agrifood equities, water, and innovations in conservation technology.

AgReturn San Francisco presents sophisticated discussions on:

investment strategies to combat global shortages in water and food
investment strategies for water rights and disruptive water technologies
valuation methods for vetting agtech and agribusiness
aquaculture trends and prospects
pending policy and industry themes that will affect your business
vertical investment strategies throughout the agriculture supply chain
farmland plays in mature markets
debt financing and debt facility tactics

This is a one-stop commercial marketplace for the industry.

Make sure AgReturn San Francisco is on your calendar for 2012. For further event details, click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unique Opportunities for PE Investors at AgReturn San Francisco 2012

AgReturn San Francisco 2012 is a unique kind of agriculture investment conference--one that embraces the surrounding themes of agriculture, real assets, and scarcity-driven investments.

This year we are pleased to offer new content and networking sessions created specifically for Private Equity investors interested in the Agriculture Space at AgReturn San Francisco 2012!

Afternoon tracks are fully dedicated to Private Equity strategies, best practices and risk management.

Don’t miss: The following panels:

“Do Your Homework": – 2:00 pm, March 13th 
Review best practices for evaluating agtech and agribusinesses to avoid failure and strategies for successful exits.

“The Role of Private Equity in Global Agribusiness”- 4:15 March 13th 
How is private equity currently engaging with the global agribusiness regarding relationship management, deal identification, deal terms, valuation methods, best practices and exit strategies? Find out here.

Be there: Private Equity B2B Networking:

Take the time to meet your peers in this first-ever private equity mixer at AgReturn. Learn about successes and failures, take away strategy ideas, and most importantly, discover potential deals. Private Equity firms can sign up for this unique networking session on a first-come, first-served basis on-site.

Hear from: The following pioneering investors:

Angelos Dassios, Partner, Paine + Partners 
Bruce Kahn, Director, Deutsche Bank 
Brad Triebsch, Principal, Central Valley Fund 
Stuart Rudick, Partner, Mindful Investors 
Aaron Enz, Partner, Watershed Capital

To see the full agenda and speaker faculty, please download the brochure here.

This is a one-stop commercial marketplace for the industry. Make sure AgReturn San Francisco is on your calendar for 2012.

We look forward to seeing you in March!

Get involved in AgReturn. Make your presence known by building your customized sponsorship package today. For more information please contact Terri Sobol at +1 646-895-7473 or