In this file:


·         Crop Giants Feel the Heat Amid an ‘Explosion’ of C-Suite Shuffling

    Bunge, Dreyfus, Gavilon have all replaced top leadership

    Agriculture markets underperform most rival asset classes


·         Bunge moves from regional to global operating model

… the latest shake-up for the 200-year-old company…



Crop Giants Feel the Heat Amid an ‘Explosion’ of C-Suite Shuffling


    Bunge, Dreyfus, Gavilon have all replaced top leadership

    Agriculture markets underperform most rival asset classes


By Isis Almeida and Mario Parker, Bloomberg

May 8, 2019


The world’s largest agriculture bosses are feeling the heat as beleaguered markets are ratcheting up investor pressure and forcing top management changes.


Bunge Ltd., the “B” of the four storied “ABCD” group of companies that dominate agriculture trading, is the latest to succumb. On Wednesday, the firm named a new chief financial officer less than six months after it announced its chief executive officer was stepping down. Gavilon Group, a U.S. trader owned by Japan’s Marubeni Corp., replaced its CEO just over a month ago, while Louis Dreyfus Co. -- the “D” -- made C-suite executive changes last year.


“We’ve seen an explosion in changes at the top lately," said Stephen Nicholson, a senior analyst for grains and oilseeds at Rabobank, a lender to the agriculture industry. "Part of it is that the agriculture industry, when you look at the results in the past five years, they are not nearly as good as they used to be."


Bumper crops from the U.S. to Brazil and Russia have depressed global prices and curbed volatility, squeezing profits for the ABCD traders that also include Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Cargill Inc. An index measuring returns from grain futures is trading near its lowest since 1977. The gauge has posted six straight annual losses, underperforming rival assets.


To make matters worse, Donald Trump’s trade war with China has has made markets even harder to navigate. With crop futures swinging along with the president’s tweets, the unpredictable nature of market volatility has meant traders couldn’t always profit. ADM, Bunge and Dreyfus have all announced mark-to-market losses, some accrued because of wrong-way bets on the tit-for-tat-tariff spa that has lasted a lot longer than most had forecast.


“We continue to have no resolution -- we’ve got traditional trade flows interrupted,” Bunge CEO Greg Heckman said on a call to discuss earnings on Wednesday, citing the company’s inability to put long-term programs in place. “It’s very disruptive to the system.”


Bunge named John Neppl, who was previously with U.S. ethanol producer Green Plains Inc., as its new CFO, replacing Thomas Boehlert. The move came after Heckman, who joined the company’s board last year, was named as permanent CEO in late April. He took over the top spot from Soren Schroder.


Dreyfus brought Ian McIntosh over as CEO from its shuttered hedge fund, replacing Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena in September. Gavilon promoted Steven Zehr to its top job in April from his previous role as chief operating officer, the second change in three years.


Smaller traders have also made changes. Scoular Co...


‘Investor Pressure’ ...


More Shuffling ...


more, including links, chart



Bunge moves from regional to global operating model


Karl Plume, Reuters

via GFM Network News/Glacier FarmMedia Feed/Canadian Cattlement - May 8, 2019


Chicago | Reuters — U.S. agricultural commodities trader Bunge on Wednesday overhauled its global operations and named a new chief financial officer in the latest shake-up for the 200-year-old company hard hit by a years-long grain market downturn.


The moves come as Bunge reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit due to higher soy crush margins in the United States, Brazil and Europe.


Bunge is battling to reverse a string of weak earnings blamed on a global grains glut and slumping commodities prices made worse by a bruising trade war between the U.S. and China.


The company announced management changes and unveiled a new global operating model, shifting away from a regional structure.


The operational change, which could shore up some of Bunge’s recent risk management shortfalls and better utilize its global assets, helped boost its stock by the most since January 2018, said Arun Sundaram, equity analyst at CFRA Research.


Bunge’s operating structure since November 2017 has included three regions: North America, South America, and Europe and Asia.


The move to a global model “will simplify the organization and speed up decision making, increasing our strategic flexibility, customer focus and accountability,” said Greg Heckman, who was named Bunge’s CEO last month.


Bunge appointed John Neppl as CFO, effective May 29. Neppl joins from U.S. ethanol producer Green Plains.


Raul Padilla, former president of South America and sugar and bioenergy, was named president of global operations, overseeing crop handling and processing.


Christos Dimopoulos, formerly president of agribusiness, was appointed president of global supply chains, charged with managing Bunge’s trading and transportation activities.


Bunge said it continues to evaluate its operations as part of a strategic portfolio review announced last year.


The company did not change its full-year 2019 forecast. Agribusiness results were expected to slip while food and ingredients earnings were seen improving.


A severe African swine fever outbreak that has slashed Chinese demand for soy and uncertainty about the outcome of U.S.-China trade talks is clouding the outlook, Heckman said.


“While these dynamics should create positive catalysts for our globally diverse footprint, the timing and magnitude of these potential benefits remain unclear,” Heckman said...