IAG: Expert. Ethical. Confidential.
Between them, IAG lead consultants Mark Feight, Ben Fisher, and Pat Boova have more than 80 years of global agricultural commodity market and research experience. Their focus has always been to offer heavily invested businesses a greater level of strategic marketing services beyond the scope of a regular brokerage house.
In the early 1990s co-founder Feight, along with the late Rob Fisher, created the Agricultural Marketing Group at Salomon Smith Barney in order to focus exclusively on these consulting services. As this targeted business grew, they formed International Agribusiness Group to expand those services to the entire agricultural industry and related food chain.
Rob Fisher’s son, Ben, came on board in 2003, adding his strong research analysis skills to help craft market opinions and long-term strategies. In 2009, Pat Boova, a well-established agricultural futures expert, joined the Group. Additionally, the core team is supplemented with adjunct partners from across the globe including Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Truchelut who provides expertise in weather.
Although co-founder, Rob Fisher, has since passed away, The International Agribusiness Group continues the legacy of his vision to provide expert, ethical and confidential consulting services.
As a co-founder of IAG and a top consultant to the global agricultural industry for over 30 years, Mark Feight helps individuals, organizations, corporations and governments, make better decisions. Mark's expertise on commodity risk management and unique marketing concepts provide an enhanced decision making process for those in agricultural production, biofuels, food service, processing, or financial services. A leading expert on the global agricultural economy, Mark has published a number of industry-targeted magazine articles, and performed a multitude of speaking engagements, including testifying before the U.S. Senate Ag Committee regarding the 1995 Farm Bill.
Formerly with Smith Barney, Mark used his expertise in commodity market research to help pioneer the agricultural consulting service industry along with longtime business partner Rob Fisher. In 1999, Mark and Rob founded International Agribusiness Group to focus exclusively on these services.
As Managing Director of IAG, Mark is responsible for commodity market research, developing and maintaining client relationships, and directing all business functions. He holds a degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.
Whether it’s for individual producers, processing organizations, or other industry-related corporations, Ben has the know-how in research and market data to strategize market plans and trade executions. His close to 15 years experience - along with a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Michigan State University - makes him uniquely qualified to lead research activities while maintaining client relationships and assisting in directing risk management strategies.
Ben also has a background in publishing industry-targeted reports along with numerous analytical forecasting and price strategy models. And as a coach for a high-school ski team for ten years, Ben’s just a natural-born leader. This quality has made him instrumental in helping to create and execute unique marketing concepts delivered through customized consulting arrangements.
With four decades in agricultural futures, Pat Boova develops agricultural strategies for larger producers, processors, and other agriculturally invested industries such as restaurant and retail chains. He services clients by developing exclusive trading strategies for price risk management, and works with the other IAG partners to craft informed, long-term market opinions. He advises select clientele, lending his considerable experience, data-backed market attitudes, and customized strategies as a background service, on a competitively exclusive basis.
Pat has an extensive background in agricultural futures, serving as a commodities and futures analyst with Smith Barney and its predecessor Citi Group from the late 1970s until 2009, when he left Citi to join IAG. Pat holds a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics and Farm Management from the University of Kentucky.
Mark Schaffner has always found the agricultural business fascinating, and has spent three decades learning it from the subsoil to the towers of finance, though not in that order. Once upon a late-1980s, he joined Shearson Lehman Hutton as the young analyst with a Bachelor's degree in Finance and Management—and a minor in Accounting—from Central Michigan.
At Shearson, Mark helped IAG co-founders Mark Feight and Rob Fisher create the business of consulting services for commodities clients. As the company became (through various iterations) Smith Barney, together the group pioneered hard data analysis techniques, and crafted them into actionable risk management strategies for their clients.
One decade and ten business cards later, Schaffner left Smith Barney to farm full-time, growing corn, soybeans, and wheat in Hudson, Michigan, and using his commodities expertise to market his crops to a large number of dairies and end users.
Even then, Mark enjoyed helping friends and associates grow their businesses, and knew better than most how important consulting services can be for farmers. He's still growing, but when not in the fields he lends his 30 years of experience in agricultural marketing and analysis to IAG clients.
Chris is a recognized expert in the field of commodity trading and risk management. His range of risk management experience includes trading, information systems, and internal controls. Industry areas of expertise include agriculture, refined products, natural gas, and electricity. He advises clients on hedging strategy, risk management and technology systems, mergers and acquisitions and accounting and tax-related back office operations. He has an undergraduate degree in accounting from Baylor University, an MBA from Rice University and is a certified public accountant.
IAG’s guidance begins with better information. Collecting and making sense of big data and analytics have always been at the core of our counsel, and two of IAG’s partners began their consulting careers as research assistants. Today, when such precise information is more valuable than ever, IAG welcomes Cem (pronounced “Gem”) Tekesin as our newest Data Analyst.
Cem holds bachelor's and master’s degrees in economics from Turkey and holding a second master’s degree in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University. Cem is currently working towards completing his Ph.D. in Economics about the success of futures exchange contracts and improving strategies for Optimal Hedge Ratios. He has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals and has presented conference papers, including several groundbreaking cost-benefit analyses on environmental risk management decisions for Great Lakes and Turkish businesses.
Cem now brings his extraordinary analytical mind and extensive academic research experience to IAG, providing sound factual bases for your agribusiness decision-making.
Otto (for 'auto'-matic) is IAG's automated program through which all research e-mails and reports run on a daily and weekly basis are generated. With the group since 2012, Otto is diligent and works cheap. He is awake and available to service clients 24 hours a day, never takes a day off, doesn't believe in holidays, and never gets sick. He has served, compiled and processed countless data rich files over the years, and is capable of executing extremely complex instructions and commands. Otto holds a degree of logical language arts from the University of VAIO.
The late Rob Fisher co-founded IAG and was instrumental in founding the agricultural consulting business. Rob first explored the possibility of providing consulting services to commodities clients in the mid-1980s with E.F. Hutton. From those services he, along with partner Mark Feight, created what became the Agricultural Marketing Group at Salomon Smith Barney, and ultimately IAG. They envisioned IAG as a group of consultants who would provide data-backed risk management analysis and strategies, crop marketing consulting, and the background data itself, with a client base of users and producers of agricultural commodities along the entire food chain.
A graduate of Oakland University, Rob was a frequent consultant to universities, county extension agencies, and agribusiness concerns. Rob passed away suddenly on July 4, 2014. His vision for ethical and confidential consulting services continues to define the group he helped to create.
International Agribusiness Group, LLC.
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