John Lundeen supports AgIS Capital’s investment analysis efforts by helping to manage the asset appraisal process and by developing financial models for both prospective acquisitions and assets we already manage for clients. Based in our Boston office, he has had a lifelong interest in agriculture and earned both a BS and an MBA at the University of Connecticut.
I grew up in Connecticut (CHECK) and completed my undergraduate education at the University of Connecticut in the college of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I majored in Animal Science and minored in Agricultural Resource Economics. After graduating, I worked in the dairy and beef production businesses before returning to school, again at UConn, where I went on to earn an MBA in Finance with specializations in Real Estate Investment and Portfolio Management.
Prior to joining AgIS, I worked for the Hancock Natural Resource Group. I guess I would say my interest in agriculture is that I enjoy the people who work in the sector and I find the science fascinating. I also have a real appreciation for the dynamics of the industry as well as the tangible nature of the asset class.
Agriculture has been part of my life since I was very young. I developed an interest in it because I enjoyed science and its practical application to farming and livestock raising. As my career progressed, I became curious about finance and institutional investment in the agricultural sector and that’s why I went back to school to get my MBA.
Although we continue to work remotely right now because of the pandemic, normally, I operate out of our national office in Boston. I spend most of my time valuing the farmland assets we manage for our clients. I also support our acquisition process by analyzing and modeling prospective transactions. A big part of my job entails managing our annual appraisal process and assessing our approaches to underwriting acquisitions. This means I tend to straddle both our asset management and acquisition efforts and I see my role as helping to create continuity between the two functions. The role allows me to make use of both my understanding of agriculture and my training and skills in finance and portfolio management.
Being an Operations Analyst
Our ability to recognize how the complex, tangible projects we undertake to acquire and manage quality farm assets, and how market dynamics are influencing, or will influence, what happens on the ground, is how we add value for our clients. When we run a financial analysis on a prospective transaction, or on an asset we are already managing, I do everything in my power to gather and incorporate as much insight and information from our group and external sources as possible. This helps me understand all of the performance dynamics that are in play, or that could influence how an asset might perform in the future. I then use that information to run financial scenarios so we have an informed perspective on how the metrics and certain variables are likely to impact risk and return.
The Future of Agriculture
I think the increasing global focus on sustainability and the expanding application of new technologies will improve farming efficiency and productivity in the future. The thing that excites me is that the capital our clients are placing in the sector is what is driving these changes. Our goal here at AgIS Capital is helping them participate in the sector in ways that allow them to create and capture long-term value – and to do that with a focus on sustainability.
Working at AgIS Capital
The thing I like most about my work here at AgIS is that I think we are entrepreneurial, innovative and on the leading edge. We work with many “Best in Class” farm management groups and we focus on creating and capturing value by utilizing “Best Practices.” Combining these in a single business approach for the benefit of our clients is appealing and rewarding. It makes for a stimulating work environment.
I like being outdoors and being active. In my spare time, I particularly enjoy hiking and skiing.