This past Monday, October 21, 2013, two representatives from MetLife Agricultural Investments visited with current risk fellows. Dan Serna, Associate Investment Manager, and Laura Linden, Senior Analyst, expounded on MetLife’s $13 billion agricultural portfolio.
MetLife’s agricultural portfolio goes back 97 years and today employs approximately 100 people. The minimum loan size is close to $1 million and encompasses the agricultural sectors of timberland, food and agribusiness, and farm and ranch. This portfolio diversification allows for risk mitigation.
Dan focused on the importance of getting to know the borrowers and their business. He explained the need to understand the use of finances by the borrower, the analysis of financial statements to understand financial need, and transforming this to the overall terms of the loan policy. Dan emphasized the importance of favorable terms for all parties involved to ensure the over-arching objectives.
Laura elaborated on the different risk types within the agricultural sector, her analysis of each investment manager’s portfolio, and how it relates to the aggregate portfolio. She further relayed the importance of getting to know the borrower. Lastly, Laura emphasized the importance for investment managers to exercise reasonable care in independent judgment.
This was enlightening to the risk fellows as many were unaware of MetLife’s diversified portfolio. It was also interesting to see their growing international footprint and how they are handling their entrance into foreign markets such as Brazil. We appreciated the time Dan and Laura invested in broadening our understanding of risk.
-Kendal Clawson and Kellie Jackson