Executive Team

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Keith Balter

Director of Economic Research

Keith Balter

Director of Economic Research

Keith is responsible for the market analysis supporting investment and operational planning and decision making for the Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG). Keith’s team maintains informational databases and produces analytical studies and publications addressing trends in global timber, agricultural commodity and renewable energy markets as well as and the role of timberlands and farmlands in institutional investment. Before joining HNRG in 2012, Keith was Senior Economist with Forest Capital Partners LLC, a company investing and managing commercial timberland for institutional investors, where he was responsible for market analysis, business development and investor support. Prior to his time at Forest Capital Partners, Keith was a principal at RISI, a provider of information services and analysis to the global forest products sector. Keith holds a MFS in Forest Economics from Yale, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Tim Cayen
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Tim Cayen

Managing Director, Business Development
Tim Cayen

Tim Cayen

Managing Director, Business Development

Tim is responsible for marketing and business development for the Hancock Natural Resource Group. In addition, he is directly involved in account management and client relations for individually managed accounts. In this role, he works directly with clients to develop and implement investment strategies including evaluation of portfolio, acquisition and disposition opportunities.

 

Prior to his account management position, Tim was an analyst with Hancock Timber where he conducted acquisition and disposition analyses for client portfolios. Before joining the group in 1993, Tim was a forest analyst with George Banzhaf & Company, a nationally recognized forestry consulting firm, where he was directly involved in timberland valuation, wood supply analysis and timber inventory. Tim holds a B.S. in Forestry from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Forest Management and Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is also registered with John Hancock Distributors LLC and holds Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses.

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Barry V. Engel

Managing Director, Corporate Resources

Barry V. Engel

Managing Director, Corporate Resources

Barry is responsible for managing and overseeing the Human Resource Department and overseeing the Information Technology Department. He joined HNRG in 2008 and spent the 12 years prior to that as an executive in corporate affairs, first with an electronic commerce company focused in banking and healthcare in Canada and the U.S., and following an acquisition, with a healthcare processing company in New York. He brings to HNRG extensive experience in human resources and technology, as well as a strong background in finance, corporate strategy and investor relations. Barry holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University, a law degree from the University of Montreal and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

Donna Frankel
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Donna Frankel

Managing Director, General Counsel
Donna Frankel

Donna Frankel

Managing Director, General Counsel

Donna is responsible for the coordination of legal affairs of the firm, its subsidiaries and investment entities. Prior to joining HNRG, she worked as Senior Counsel at John Hancock Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation. Prior to that, Donna worked in private practice. Donna has extensive experience in real estate and investments, including timber and agricultural real estate, debt and structured finance, investment management, private equity as well as litigation and risk management. She has her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts in management and accounting and worked as an accountant prior to obtaining her Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. She was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1996.

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Brent Keefer

President and Managing Director

Brent Keefer

President and Managing Director

Brent is responsible for overall management of the Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG). Previously, Brent oversaw global resource planning and timberland investment valuation at HTRG and was part of the senior management team. His role also included analysis of new investment regions and global timberland investment risk and return. He led timberland acquisition valuation and due diligence and provided oversight for Hancock Forest Management’s resource support teams. Prior to joining HTRG in 1998, Brent worked for Rayonier Inc. for ten years in the U.S. Southeast managing forest resource information and planning systems.  He holds a B.S. in forest resource management and a M.S. in forest biometrics, GIS, and remote sensing both from Virginia Tech.

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Stephen A. Kenney

Vice President, Business Development

Stephen A. Kenney

Vice President, Business Development

Stephen is responsible for marketing and business development for HAIG. Previously, Stephen assisted with portfolio management and investment analysis for HAIG’s institutional farmland investment program. Prior to joining HAIG in 2005, Stephen was a business analyst for a securities processing institution responsible for credit risk management and prior to that he held banking and finance positions with Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley. He is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society and the chairman of the NCREIF Farmland Committee. Stephen holds a BS in Finance from Iowa State University and a MS in Finance from Brandeis University and maintains an interest in the family farming operation in Iowa.

Brian Kernihan
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Brian J. Kernohan

Director, Policy & Environmental Advocacy
Brian Kernihan

Brian J. Kernohan

Director, Policy & Environmental Advocacy

Brian is responsible for HNRG’s policy and environmental advocacy program. In this role Brian directs Hancock Natural Resource Group’s global sustainability program, develops policies and environmental compliance mechanisms, and is responsible for government relations concerning business and environmental strategies. Brian is also responsible for advising the company on third-party forest and farmland certification and supporting ecosystem services revenue development and conservation transactions. Previously he was Manager of Environmental Affairs for Hancock Timber Resource Group with responsibilities focused solely on Hancock’s timber business. Prior to joining Hancock Timber Resource Group in 2012, Brian was the Director of Policy at Forest Capital Partners where he was responsible for a variety of programs including forest certification, forest policy, government affairs, public relations, conservation transactions, and ecology support. Brian is a director of PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) International and member of the Board of Governors of the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI). Brian holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Wildlife Management from South Dakota State University. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, a designation accredited by The Wildlife Society.

 

Tim Koelker
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Timothy Koelker, CMA

Director, Corporate Finance
Tim Koelker

Timothy Koelker, CMA

Director, Corporate Finance

Tim is responsible for the financial reporting, treasury, consolidation, tax coordination, and budgeting functions related to Hancock Natural Resource Group’s corporate entities. Before joining HNRG in 2002, Tim was the CFO for a small group of manufacturing companies. Prior to that, he worked in various finance and operations roles with Roseburg Forest Products, MacMillan Bloedel and WTD Industries. Tim holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with concentrations in finance and accounting from Iowa State University and an MBA from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

 

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Eugene Kwong

Director, Client Reporting

Eugene Kwong

Director, Client Reporting

Gene is responsible for the accounting, reporting and tax functions of Hancock Natural Resource Group’s timberland, farmland and renewable energy investments. Gene serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of several third party investor funds. Before joining the firm in 2006, he was employed by two Boston based hedge funds and had various responsibilities including accounting, reporting and operations. Prior to this, Gene was employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers, as a manager in their Audit Practice and Transaction Services group. Gene earned his B.S. in Accounting from Boston College, his M.S. in Taxation from Northeastern University and was previously a licensed CPA in NY and MA.

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Sydney J. McConathy

Director, Business Development

Sydney J. McConathy

Director, Business Development

Sydney is responsible for leading product development initiatives on behalf of Hancock Natural Resource Group. She is also responsible for institutional capital raising across HNRG’s three business units, Hancock Timber Resource Group, Hancock Agriculture Investment Group and Hancock Renewable Energy Group. Prior to joining HNRG, Sydney was a Managing Director for Beacon Hill Financial Corporation, a Boston-based private placement firm with clients in the private equity buyout and energy sectors. Prior to Beacon Hill, Sydney was Manager of Project Finance with Alpine Energy Group, a private-equity funded power development firm. Early in her career, Sydney was a strategy consultant with The Parthenon Group where she performed a number of product development and marketing initiatives for global fortune 500 companies. Sydney holds a B.A. in International Studies and Art History from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She is registered with John Hancock Distributors LLC and holds Series 7 and 63 licenses. She has also passed and held the Series 79 in a previous role.

 

Bill Peressini
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William E. Peressini

President and Chief Executive Officer
Bill Peressini

William E. Peressini

President and Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Bill is responsible for the overall management of HNRG and works closely with the executive team in carrying out those responsibilities. In August 2015, he was elected an HNRG Board Director by the HNRG Board. Prior to becoming CEO, he was the President and Chief Financial Officer of HNRG. In this role, he was responsible for the financial management of the firm, its subsidiaries and investment entities, the accounting and reporting of client investments, information systems, human resources and administration. Bill joined HNRG in 2011 and has been involved in all major strategic growth initiatives. Prior to joining HNRG, he held senior management positions at Stimson Lumber Company, a privately-held integrated forest products company in the U.S. Northwest, and PacifiCorp, a regulated and non-regulated energy and telecommunications company based in Portland, Oregon. He has extensive experience in timberland and manufacturing operations, treasury and corporate finance activities, energy and credit risk. Bill holds a B.S. in Business from the University of Illinois-Champaign and an M.B.A from DePaul University in Chicago.

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Nick Ping

Director, Business Development

Nick Ping

Director, Business Development

Nick is responsible for business development activities in Australasia and Asia dedicated to raising institutional capital for new investments on behalf of the Hancock Timber Resource Group, Hancock Agricultural Investment Group and the Hancock Renewable Energy Group. In this role, Nick also supports HNRG’s Client Account Management teams and is responsible for the management of existing client relationships in Australasia and Asia. Nick previously served in the capacities of Vice President, Business Development and Resource Planning, Australasia. Prior to joining HNRGA in 2008, Nick coordinated the resource planning functions for HVP Plantations, before joining Pöyry Management Consulting, where he consulted on a variety of projects throughout the Asia Pacific, including forest appraisals, due diligence and strategic planning. Nick holds Bachelor of Forest Science (Hons) and Doctor of Philosophy (Forest Science) degrees from the University of Melbourne, and an MBA from Deakin University.

 

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Cleidson Rangel

Business Development Specialist, Brazil Fund Manager

Cleidson Rangel

Business Development Specialist, Brazil Fund Manager

Cleidson works in the marketing and new business development areas for Brazil at the Hancock Timber Resource Group. He has over 15 years of experience in forestry, private equity, international finance and agribusiness both in the US and overseas. In his past experience Cleidson managed Phaunos Timber’s $250 million South America portfolio, including operations in Uruguay and Brazil and served as president of Eucateca, a $150 million eucalyptus greenfield project in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Cleidson has an extensive knowledge on emerging markets investments opportunities. He also worked in the Latin America investment portfolio team at Devonshire Investors, Fidelity Investments private equity arm. Cleidson holds a B.S in Economics from the University of Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil and an MBA from the Hult International Business School in Boston.

Mike Rivard
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Michael Rivard

Managing Director, Chief Acquisitions Officer
Mike Rivard

Michael Rivard

Managing Director, Chief Acquisitions Officer

Mike is responsible for the Hancock Natural Resource Group’s global acquisition sourcing and dispositions efforts across the timber, agriculture and renewable energy platforms and is also responsible for corporate level mergers and acquisitions initiatives and opportunities. Before joining the firm, Mike served as Executive Director at UBS Timber Investors where he participated in the management of the firm, was portfolio manager for an international allocation from a large separate account client and participated in business development, fund structuring, portfolio management and acquisition sourcing in Latin America. He also managed a variety of domestic timber funds. Previously, Mike served as chief executive officer of a privately held forest products company in Maine. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in Forest Utilization from the University of Maine at Orono, and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Glenn Smith

President and Managing Director

Glenn Smith

President and Managing Director

Glenn is responsible for the international development, acquisition, and investment in a portfolio of renewable energy projects, and associated infrastructure. Glenn’s career spans more than 30 years in the energy and infrastructure industries in which he has been involved in project, merger, acquisition, finance, turnaround, operational and restructuring activities involving both private and public companies. Prior to joining HREG, Glenn held C level leadership roles and ownership in a number of private and public internationally focused renewable energy companies. Glenn holds a Bachelor of Engineering with honors from the University of West England and has the distinctions of Eur.Ing., CEng, MIMechE and MIGasE.

Wilfred Steiner
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Wilfred Steiner

Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer
Wilfred Steiner

Wilfred Steiner

Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer

Wilfred is responsible for the financial management of the firm, its subsidiaries and investment entities. Prior to becoming CFO, Wilfred was responsible for the overall management of the HNRGA business in Australia and New Zealand and he was also responsible for international financial aspects of the HNRG business including coordinating financial work on international acquisitions and financial review of international operations. Previously he was the Chief Financial Officer of HNRGA. Prior to joining the Group in 2004, Wilfred was the Chief Financial Officer of companies involved in the retail and entertainment industries and had overall responsibility for financial, treasury and taxation aspects of the companies. Prior to these positions, he worked at a major accounting firm where he had significant involvement with audit and corporate finance activities, including mergers/acquisitions and valuations. Wilfred holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Economics from Macquarie University.

HNRG
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Courtland L. Washburn, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer
HNRG

Courtland L. Washburn, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer

Court is responsible for HNRG’s investment strategy and economic research. Court is a leading expert on the application of financial economic models to forest assets and timberland companies. His research has been published in numerous economics, finance and forestry journals.

 

Court began his career at Hancock Natural Resource Group in 1990. Court is a chairman of the HNRG Natural Resource Investment Committee, with authority to implement investment actions on behalf of its clients. Court holds an M.S. in Forest Policy from the University of California and a Ph.D. in Forest Economics from Yale University.

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Oliver S. Williams IV, CFA

President and Managing Director

Oliver S. Williams IV, CFA

President and Managing Director

Oliver is responsible for the overall direction and growth of HAIG’s institutional farmland investment program. He is a member of the senior management team of HNRG and serves on its Executive Committee. Oliver leads the management team for HAIG, serves on the HAIG’s Investment Committee and chairs a number of company boards for HAIG’s Australian Investment vehicles. Previously, Oliver headed HAIG’s asset management function and was part of the HAIG senior management team. Prior to joining HAIG in 1997, he spent 5 years with the First Pioneer Farm Credit, ACA, where he was responsible for evaluating and appraising farmland and farm businesses for potential loans. He is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the Association for Investment Management and Research, the Boston Security Analysts Society and a CFA® charterholder. He holds a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, with a concentration in finance, from Cornell University. Mr. Williams grew up on a poultry and grain farm in western New York and is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho.

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