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Investors, hedge funds flock around opportunities in agriculture

"The buzz has actually been agricultural investment conferences, where about one tenth of the people seem to be people I recognize from the hedge fund circuit," says Stuart MacDonald, managing director at the Hamburg, Germany-based Aquila Capital.
Opalesque | 7 October 2014

Investors, hedge funds flock around opportunities in agriculture

by Komfie Manalo

Stuart MacDonald, managing director at the Hamburg, Germany-based Aquila Capital with Euro 7bn in assets, said investors are looking at opportunities in the agriculture sector and other forms of real asset investments.

MacDonald made the statement at the recent Opalesque 2014 U.K. Roundtable sponsored by Salus Alpha Group and Eurex that recently took place at the London offices of Eurex.

MacDonald said, "As an aside, the greatest excitement that I've seen over the last year or 18 months has not been at hedge fund conferences, although they are hardly dull and there are some evidence that sentiment has picked up even on this side of the Atlantic, although Europe isn’t exactly booming compared to the States." He added, "The buzz has actually been agricultural investment conferences, where about one tenth of the people seem to be people I recognize from the hedge fund circuit."

According to him, investors are also getting excited about "what is belatedly being recognized as almost the CTA or risk parity equivalent within the infrastructure space: Agriculture or farmland, which are uncorrelated with the others and still offer the same general benefits as many other forms of real asset investment, such as inflation hedging and the capacity to generate an income stream."

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