Angus Selby - Can Institutional Investment Capital Provide Opportunities for Family Farmers and Young Farmers in the UK?
I come from a farming family and grew up on an irrigated wheat, soya and tobacco farm in northern Zimbabwe. Fifteen years ago we relocated to Zambia where we lived in tents, cleared land and started again from scratch. My brother has since built a large high-quality farming business and my Dad has developed a successful conservation farming program with large and smallholder farmers in the surrounding area.
I moved back to the UK to finish my DPhil at Oxford and have subsequently forged a career in London as an investment manager with a series of global agri funds. Most recently I designed and built a $4billion global investment portfolio for a Canadian Pension Fund and before that was involved in managing and restructuring some large scale farming investments in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Earlier this year I decided to take some time away from the coal face. My wife Callie and I flew to Cape Town with Patrick (our 7 month old son) and packed a land cruiser with a few provisions (and my mother-in-law!) and spent two incredible months on safari in Namibia and Botswana. Our 8,500km adventure took us up through the Namib Desert, along the Skeleton Coast and then back down through the Kalahari.
Nuffield scholarships were always a prominent feature of farming in Zimbabwe and something that I’d always hoped to apply for at some stage. This mid-career break presented the perfect opportunity in terms of time and topic and I am delighted and honoured to join the Nuffield ranks. Callie is a farm girl and has been extremely supportive and we’re excited about this as a shared venture. I am also very grateful to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for their generous sponsorship.