The veteran agricultural investor will oversee the firm’s growing food and agriculture private equity operations
SOUTH BEND, Ind., February 22, 2023–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ceres Partners announced today the appointment of Rick Bodio, a veteran portfolio manager and expert in food and agribusiness investments, to Managing Director, Private Equity Investments. Bodio joins Ceres Partners from his role as Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Manulife Investment Management, Agriculture, a subsidiary of John Hancock. Bodio will accelerate the build out of the firm’s specialized private equity strategy in food and agriculture investments.
“Ceres Partners’ strong track record and vision for the future of agriculture aligns with my views on the best opportunities in the sector,” said Rick Bodio. “There is vast potential in early-growth food and ag companies, and this firm is positioned to support and scale the businesses that will establish lasting positive change.”
During Bodio’s tenure at Manulife Investment Management, he helped lead the agricultural investment strategy for the company’s global portfolio and focused on investing in middle market companies in the agribusiness space.
“Rick’s breadth of experience sets him apart in this industry,” said Ceres Partners Founder and CEO Perry Vieth. “He brings a seasoned perspective that will immediately add value to our private equity investments and successfully guide our subsequent funds.”
Bodio joins Ceres Partners shortly after the firm announced its successful exit of Digested Organics, an automated solution to separate nutrients and reclaim clean water from waste streams. The firm also recently invested in Tortuga AgTech, the world’s largest commercial strawberry harvesting robot fleet with 150 production robots, providing harvesting and forecasting to help farms be more resilient and sustainable.
“Ceres Partners is well-recognized for its sector-leading focus and knowledge,” said Ceres Partners Advisory Committee Member Bennett Goodman. “The private equity team’s ability to identify, invest in, and scale pioneering food and agriculture companies makes them an attractive partner for investors who recognize the outsized benefits of these sectors.”
Ceres Partners’ private equity portfolio consists of early growth-stage companies positioned to disrupt traditional food and agricultural businesses and solve large-scale problems. Its private equity funds accompany Ceres Farms, a $1.4 billion AUM farmland fund.
About Ceres Partners
Ceres Partners is a specialist investment manager focused exclusively on food and agriculture. Ceres Partners manages two investment vehicles with distinct strategies and investment objectives: Ceres Farms, LLC which invests in U.S. farmland, and Ceres Private Equity that invests in emerging food and agriculture businesses. For more information on Ceres Partners, visit cerespartners.com.
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