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Prudential Agriculture Investments

 

Leadership:
Jess Jarratt
Matthew Ciaschini
Ray Smith
Paul Marsh

Investment Professionals:
William Beyer
Juan D. Castro Anzola
Josh Culpepper
Jake Cutler
Jon Mark Erstine
Steve Fessler
Christopher Jay
Ed Lassiter
William Lewis
Ken McNeil
John Nitz
Frank Oberti
Jim Pendleton
Nicole Pedro
Jeff Ray
Rachelle Schlesinger

Jess Jarratt
President

3560 Lenox Road, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone: 407-704-8971
jess.jarratt@prudential.com
 
Jess is President of Prudential Agricultural Investments. In this role, he oversees the agricultural lending operations, the agricultural equity investments, and the farm management and real estate brokerage unit. He is located in Atlanta, GA.

Before joining Prudential, Jarratt was president of Wells Real Asset Management Company and director of Wells Timberland REIT. Jess not only was responsible for all timberland operations, he also had an Executive Committee role in all of Wells $12 billion of investments. Previously, Jarratt was at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, where he filled various roles involving structured real estate investing, capital markets and banking. Earlier in his career, he specialized in agribusiness finance for Rabobank and Timberland, investing for John Hancock.

Jarratt earned a bachelor's degree in forestry from Texas A&M University and an MBA in finance from the University of North Texas.
 


Matthew Ciaschini
Chief Investment Officer - Equity

San Francisco Office
Office Phone: 415-291-5025
Matt.Ciaschini@prudential.com
 
Matt is the Chief Investment Officer for Prudential Agricultural Investments. He leads the equity team in managing the portfolio of agricultural properties. He is located in San Francisco, CA.

Matt joins Prudential Agricultural Investments from Harvard Management Company where he most recently served as vice president and portfolio manager for Harvard's $700 million international agricultural investment portfolio. Previously, Matt consulted with various agribusiness companies as well as serving as the vice president of operations for Silverado Premium Properties, the second largest vineyard investor and operator in California.

Matt earned his bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts and a master's degree in Mathematics from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. He also earned an MBA from the University of California, Davis.
 


Ray Smith
Senior Vice President (Agricultural Mortgage)

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 708
Memphis, TN 38138
Phone: 901-473-7821
ray.smith@prudential.com
 
Mr. Smith is the Senior Vice President – Agricultural Investments and is responsible for the agricultural lending operations within Prudential.

He joined Prudential in 1987 as an associate in Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc. (CAPS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Prudential, in Memphis, TN. In 1994, he transferred to the agricultural lending group in Sacramento, CA to originate agribusiness loans focusing on permanent plantings and timber. Ray left Prudential in 2004 to move back to Memphis where he ran the MetLife Timberland Finance Group until returning to Prudential in 2012.

Mr. Smith received his B.S. in Agricultural Business from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1984 and his MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1994.
 


Paul E. Marsh
Principal

801 Warrenville Road, Suite 150
Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: 630-829-4674
paul.marsh@prudential.com
 
Mr. Marsh is a Principal in the Agricultural Investments Unit of the Prudential Mortgage Capital Company and serves as the Portfolio Manager and Chief Underwriter for the agricultural mortgage lending operations based in Lisle, IL.

Mr. Marsh joined Prudential in 1986 as a Vice President with Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc. (CAPS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prudential. He joined Prudential's agricultural lending business in 1991 in the western United States. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in 1996 after assuming his current role in 1994. Prior to joining CAPS, he was a Vice President in the Farm Management Department and subsequently in the Special Investments Division at Northern Trust Bank in Chicago.

Mr. Marsh holds a Bachelors degree in Agribusiness Management from Purdue University and a Masters of Management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Currently, Mr. Marsh holds the Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) and Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) designations from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), plus the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation from the Realtors Land Institute. During his career he has served on various industry task forces and chaired several committees for ASFMRA including Government Relations, Bylaws, and the Ethics Committee.
 


William Beyer
Principal

2998 Douglas Blvd. Suite 225
Roseville, CA 95661
Phone: 916-789-4070
william.beyer@prudential.com
 
As a Principal with Prudential Agricultural Investments, Bill is responsible for the Roseville, California office. The office originates loans in northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Bill has over 35 years of mortgage origination and investment management experience within the agricultural sector. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Davis.



 


Juan David Castro-Anzola
Investment Associate

201 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 795
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-649-9601
Email: juan.castroanzola@prudential.com
 
Mr. Castro-Anzola was appointed to his current role in 2011 and is responsible for portfolio analysis and supports equity acquisitions throughout the U.S. He also is involved in various strategic and corporate initiatives for Prudential Agricultural Investments.

Mr. Castro-Anzola joined Prudential Agricultural Investments in 2006 as an investment analyst in the agricultural lending group business for the Southeast Region. In this role, Mr. Castro-Anzola was responsible for the analysis of over $400 million in debt transactions for companies in a wide range of commodity sectors and assisted the Regional Vice-President in the underwriting, managing, and closing of transactions.

Mr. Castro-Anzola is a graduate from the University of Florida with both a Master's degree in Agribusiness Management as well as a Bachelor's degree in Food and Resource Economics (Summa Cum Laude). While in College, he held internship positions with Florida's Natural Growers in the Corporate Planning Department as well as the Florida Department of Citrus as a research assistant in the Economic and Market Research Department.

Mr. Castro-Anzola has participated in risk management and appraisal courses and is a former member of the American Agricultural Economic Association and the National Agri-marketing Association. In addition, Mr. Castro-Anzola is currently a Level I Candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst Program.
 


Josh Culpepper
Director

201 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 795
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-649-9601
Email: josh.culpepper@prudential.com
 
Josh joined Prudential in 2010 as a Director with Prudential Agricultural Investments, a subsidiary of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company. In this role he is primarily responsible for the agricultural lending origination and operations within the Southeast Region.

Prior to joining Prudential, he spent 11 years with SunTrust Bank in various commercial underwriting and lending functions, including four years in the Agribusiness lending group.

Josh received a BS in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Florida. In addition, Josh is a licensed Florida Real Estate Sales Associate, and is a member the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Florida Citrus Mutual, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Grower's Association, the Florida and Georgia Forestry Associations, and the Georgia Pecan Growers Association.
 


Jacob (Jake) Cutler
Investment Associate

7108 N. Fresno Street, Suite 400
Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-437-3265
Email: jacob.cutler@prudential.com
 
Jake is an Associate with Prudential Agricultural Investments and located in Fresno, California. In this role, he is responsible for loan originations in California. He joined Prudential in 2009.

Jake is the third generation of his family to be involved in California agriculture. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Davis.
 


Jon Mark Erstine
Principal

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 708
Memphis, TN 38138
Phone: 901-758-3340
Email: jon.erstine@prudential.com
 
Mr. Erstine began his career with Prudential in June of 1980 in the Little Rock, Arkansas office. In 1981, he was transferred to the Memphis, Tennessee Regional Office. Mr. Erstine has served a number of roles within the Prudential Agricultural Group during his career.

His early years were spent concentrating on property management, acquisition, and sales. During the late 1980's and early 1990's he served as the Regional Vice President for Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc. (CAPS). Upon returning from CAPS to Prudential in the early 1990's he has served in his present role as Vice President in charge of the Mid-South Region. His present responsibilities include farm real estate loans for the Mid-South Region and oversight of the equity real estate and property management (CAPS) for the Central Region.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Mr. Erstine holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Agriculture Economics. Additionally, Mr. Erstine is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Arkansas and Tennessee. He is also a member of the Arkansas Ag Council and the Delta Council.
 


Stephen Fessler
Principal

7108 N. Fresno Street, Suite 400
Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-437-3243
Email: stephen.fessler@prudential.com
 
Mr. Fessler is responsible for managing the equity portfolio and providing oversight of the property management group (CAPS) for the Western Region.

Prior to joining Prudential Agricultural Investments, Mr. Fessler held senior management positions at several diversified agribusinesses. In those capacities, he implemented asset diversification plans to better mitigate business risk, standardized investment benchmarks that improved decision making, and helped streamline productivity to increase profits. During his tenure in public accounting, he provided audit and consulting services to agribusiness, banking and litigation support clients.

A graduate of the University of California at Davis, Mr. Fessler holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Managerial and Agricultural Economics with a minor in Finance. Additionally, he is a Certified Public Accountant in California. He is a member of many trade organizations including the American Pistachio Growers, ASFMRA, California Citrus Mutual and the Almond Board of California.




 


Christopher Jay
Director of Financial Analysis

801 Warrenville Road, Suite 150
Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: 630-829-4689
christoph.jay@prudential.com
 
Mr. Jay is the Director of Financial Analysis for Prudential's Agricultural Investments group and oversees the finance functions of the agricultural lending operations, the agricultural equity investments, and the farm management and real estate brokerage unit.

Mr. Jay joined Prudential in 1993 as a Staff Accountant and has been promoted through the ranks to his present level of Director. Mr. Jay graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with an MBA which included concentrations in finance, accounting, and economics, and holds a Bachelor of Science from DePaul University. In addition, he passed the Uniform CPA Examination in 1995. Mr. Jay is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) and a member of the NCREIF Farmland Index Committee.
 


Robert E. Lassiter III ("Ed")
Principal

201 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 795
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-649-9601
ed.lassiter@prudential.com
 
In Feb., 2005, Mr. Lassiter was named Vice-President - Agricultural Investments with Prudential Ag Investments, as well as regional Vice-President with Capital Agricultural Property Services (CAP'S), a wholly owned subsidiary of Prudential. He came to Prudential from SunTrust Banks, Inc. where for nineteen years he was Senior Vice-president and manager of their Mid-Florida Agri-Business Department. Prior to SunTrust Bank, he worked in the Farm Credit System for approximately eight years serving as Vice-President and Branch Manager for the Federal Land Bank and Production Credit Associations in North Florida, Hillsborough County and Polk County Florida. Before joining Farm Credit, he worked for Ben Hill Griffin, Inc. for two years serving as Production Supervisor of the company's Citrus Sections and Juice Processing divisions.

Mr. Lassiter grew up in Lake Wales, Florida and attended the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Resource Economics. He currently lives in Lake Wales with his wife Renee and they have two children, Ryan and Dana.

Civic activities and professional associations: Secretary/Treasurer of Florida Citrus Processors Association; Director and Chairman of the Finance Committee of Polk County Farm Bureau, a member of Florida Fruit and Vegetable Assoc., Florida Citrus Mutual, Gulf Citrus Growers Assc., Florida Forestry Assc., Georgia Forestry Assc., Past Director and Chairman of Economic Development Council Lake Wales Downtown, Inc.; Past member, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers; Past President and Director of Lake Wales Rotary Club; Past President of Lake Wales YMCA.
 


William (Bill) Lewis
Principal

7108 N. Fresno Street, Suite 400
Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-437-3261
william.lewis@prudential.com
 
Bill is Vice President and Regional Manager for Prudential Agriculture Investments' Fresno office, overseeing a mortgage debt portfolio of multiple crop commodities throughout the Southwestern United States. Prudential Ag Group has provided real estate mortgages to the Ag Industry for over 100 years.

Bill transferred in 2009 to Fresno via the Prudential Ag Group's office in Orlando, Florida serving the Southeastern Agriculture market. He began his career with Prudential in 2000 having worked for SunTrust Bank's Specialty Lending Agriculture Group and was involved with the Wedgeworth Agriculture Leadership Institute (Class VII). Bill is also a graduate of the California Agriculture Leadership Program (Class XLIII).

Bill graduated from University of Central Florida in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and 1993 with an MBA. He has been involved in community activities including serving in his local town, coaching multiple youth sports and church. Additionally, Bill has been and is active in multiple commodity markets and industry associations.

Bill and his wife, Kristy, live in Fresno with their two children, William, 14, and Lindsey, 12, who are both involved in school activities, team sports, music and church. Bill is actively involved in triathlon racing.
 


Ken McNeil
Principal

801 Warrenville Road, Suite 150
Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: 630-829-4685
kenneth.mcneil@prudential.com
 
Mr. McNeil is a Principal in the Agricultural Investments Unit of the Prudential Mortgage Capital Company and for the agricultural mortgage lending operations based in Lisle, IL.

Mr. McNeil joined Prudential in 1987 as a Staff Accountant in the Agricultural Investments Unit. Ken was promoted to Associate Manager in 1988 and Accounting Manager in 1990. He transferred to Prudential's agricultural lending business in 1994 with responsibility for originations in the Midwest region. He was promoted to Principal in 2003. Prior to joining Prudential, he was a Staff Auditor for Dekalb Corporation.

Mr. McNeil holds a Bachelors degree in Accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from DePaul University. Mr. McNeil passed the CPA exam in 1986.
 


John Nitz
Principal

801 Warrenville Road, Suite 150
Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: 630-829-4679
john.nitz@prudential.com
 
Mr. Nitz is a Principal in the Agricultural Investments Unit of the Prudential Mortgage Capital Company and serves as the Midwest Regional Head for the agricultural mortgage lending operations based in Lisle, IL.

Mr. Nitz joined Prudential in 1977 as an Analyst in the Minneapolis, Minnesota Prudential Regional Office. He has held a number of positions in the Midwest Region and was promoted to his current position in 1990.

Mr. Nitz holds a Bachelors degree in Agribusiness from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in Economics from Iowa State University.
 


L. Frank Oberti
Principal

7108 N. Fresno Street, Suite 400
Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: 559-437-3262
frank.oberti@prudential.com
 
Mr. Oberti is a Principal in the Agricultural Investments Unit of the Prudential Mortgage Capital Company and severs as a mortgage loan professional and asset manager for Prudential's agricultural regional office located in Fresno, California.

Mr. Oberti joined Prudential in 1974 as Regional Appraiser and was promoted to Vice President/Principal in 1989. Mr. Oberti is responsible for mortgage loan origination and asset management for the south half of California and the state of Arizona. Mr. Oberti holds a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Economics from California State University, Fresno. Mr. Oberti is a fourth generation agricultural family operating in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Currently, Mr. Oberti is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He is also a charter and current member of the Ag Lenders Society of California; having severed two terms as president of this organization. During his career with Prudential, Mr. Oberti also served as the Agricultural Investment representative on the Prudential Mortgage Capital Company Chairman's Advisory Council.
 


James (Jim) B. Pendleton
Principal

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 708
Memphis, TN 38138
Phone: 901-758-3343
james.pendleton@prudential.com
 
Jim is Vice President, Agricultural Investments, located in Memphis, Tennessee. He shares responsibility for originating and servicing the agricultural mortgage loan portfolio in the Midsouth, working with both direct and AgMAP lending activities. Jim also splits time with the agricultural equity group by assisting with the management of agricultural equity portfolios for various pension funds and other investment groups.

Jim began his career with Prudential in January of 1985, working in the Kearney, Nebraska field office. He was transferred to the Memphis, Tennessee Regional Office in 1989 where he was responsible for property acquisition and management in the Southeastern US. Later, he transitioned into his current role, working exclusively in the Midsouth Region.

Before joining Prudential in 1985, Jim earned his BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University. Currently, he is active in the Midsouth Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the local Memphis Agricultural Club, besides holding an Affiliate Broker license in Tennessee.
 


Nicole Pedro
Investment Associate

2998 Douglas Blvd., Suite 225
Roseville, CA 95661
Phone: 916-789-4072
nicole.pedro@prudential.com
 
Nicole is an investment associate with Prudential Agricultural Investments. In this role, she is responsible for loan originations within California and the Pacific Northwest. She is located in Roseville, California.

Nicole joined Prudential in 2005 as an investment analyst, a role in which she was responsible for performing credit analyses for loan originations and monitoring the credit risk of existing loans in Prudential's agricultural mortgage portfolio.

Nicole received a BS in Managerial Economics from the University of California at Davis and an MBA from the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Davis.
 


Jeff Ray
Principal

801 Warrenville Road, Suite 150
Lisle, IL 60532
Phone: 630-829-4678
jeffrey.ray@prudential.com
 
Mr. Ray is a Principal in the Agricultural Investments Unit of the Prudential Mortgage Capital Company and for the agricultural mortgage lending operations based in Lisle, IL.

Mr. Ray joined Prudential in 1998 as an Associate in the Agricultural Investments Unit. Mr. Ray held various other positions in the unit before being promoted to Principal in 2006.

Mr. Ray holds Bachelor degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Agricultural Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. Between his bachelor and masters studies, Mr. Ray worked in eastern Europe for a firm involved in agricultural production and processing activities. Mr. Ray is a CFA ® charterholder.
 


Rachelle Schlesinger
Principal

2998 Douglas Blvd. Suite 225
Roseville, CA 95661
Phone: 916-789-4073
rachelle.schlesinger@prudential.com
 
As Principal with Prudential Agricultural Investments, Rachelle leads the Timberland Capital Group and is responsible for originations and management of Prudential's timberland mortgage investments throughout the US.

Rachelle has over 15 years of mortgage origination and asset management experience within the timber and agricultural sectors. She holds a M.B.A. from UC Davis Graduate School of Management and a bachelor of science from California State University, Fresno.



 

 





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