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.
Mark has been a top consultant to the agricultural industry for almost 30 years and is recognized as a leading expert on the global agricultural economy. He’s published many industry-targeted magazine articles and takes part in regular speaking engagements. He even testified before the U.S. Senate Ag Committee.
But at the heart of all of this is Mark’s appreciation for farming. An experienced farmer himself, he recognized early the extreme risks and demands of the job. So he pursued a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University, and later co-founded IAG with the late Rob Fisher. Mark now enjoys working with individuals, organizations and corporations to provide his decades of expertise in risk management, but also provides unique marketing concepts on an exclusive basis.
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.
Holding Bachelor’s (Gazi University in Turkey) and Master’s (Hacettepe University) degrees in Economics, Cem is currently completing a second Master’s in Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University under the prestigious Bridge Fund Fellowship. He has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, and has presented conference papers in the fields of Natural Resources and Environmental Economics, including several groundbreaking cost-benefit analyses on environmental risk management decisions for Great Lakes and Turkish businesses. He most recently has been applying his data analysis and survey methodology skills in food marketing assessment within MSU’s Department of Food Industry Management.
Cem now brings his extraordinary analytical mind and extensive academic survey experience to IAG, providing sound factual bases for your agribusiness decision-making.
As Lead Meteorologist, Dr. Ryan Truchelut provides customized forecast products at lead times ranging from days to months for a wide range of clients. His primary responsibilities include producing daily temperature and precipitation guidance for all major global agricultural regions and writing original (and occasionally entertaining) research pieces focused on extreme event risk from tropical cyclones and winter storms. He began working with IAG in 2005 and has over ten years' experience as a professional forecaster.
Ryan graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Geosciences in 2008 and received a Master's degree in Meteorology from Florida State University in 2011. He completed his doctorate in Meteorology at FSU in 2015, with a dissertation focused on better understanding the physical processes underpinning seasonal tropical cyclone risk variability. He is also the author of multiple peer-reviewed publications and has presented original research at numerous national and international meteorology conferences.
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.
33533 West Twelve Mile, Suite 145
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
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