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Cultivating Talent

CQS chief plows his support into sustainable farm management

Michael Hintze began buying farmland in 2007.

Michael Hintze, CEO and senior investment officer of credit specialist CQS (UK) LLP, probably wouldn't strike you as a man with a passion for farms.

But the urbane London-dweller, who grew up in Sydney, said he has long been interested in farming and has made a “substantial investment” of personal funds in more than 20 prime agricultural properties totaling more than 270 square miles in eastern Australia.

“When I started to buy farmland in 2007, there was a clear secular view that the global population would grow from 7 (billion) to 9 billion, with Asia a driver, with rising living standards and globalization,” Mr. Hintze said in an email.

He soon realized “farming is complicated. It comes down to operating farming effectively. You can't control the weather, currency or the global market price. What can be controlled is how farms are operated.”

Given his time-consuming job as the manager of a $12 billion money management firm and his numerous philanthropic activities, Mr. Hintze created MH Premium Farms. A team of agricultural specialists manages the diverse portfolio of farmland, which spans several climate regions. The farms produce lamb, beef and wool as well crops including cereal grain, oilseeds, cotton and sugar cane.

Sustainable agricultural processes and environmental responsibility are important facets of MHPF's farm stewardship, Mr. Hintze said.

By way of addressing Australia's shortage of agronomists, MHPF funds an undergraduate scholarship for a student studying rural science or agriculture at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales. The scholarship recipient is also awarded an eight-week, rotating internship at a number of the MHPF farms in Queensland and New South Wales.

This article originally appeared in the February 6, 2017 print issue as, "CQS chief plows his support into sustainable farm management".