PSI’s founder and President, Paul V. Kanitra, stated that the company is responding to the needs of the investment and agricultural communities. “Farmland is no longer just soil for agrarian purposes. It has grown to be a unique asset class with attractive diversification features. Unlike other commodities, farmland is not yet intertwined with the financial marketplace. Peak Soil Indexes elevates farmland to equal status of other tradable commodities.”
Mr. Kanitra adds, “PSI will construct indexes derived solely from observable, recorded value documentation, not surveys. The company believes survey pricing is subject to biases and at some point can prove to be unreliable. Real arms length transactions assure investors of accuracy. The willingness to use an index starts with market confidence in the preciseness of its design.”
Mr. Kanitra has 30 years of financial industry experience. For the last five years he has worked independently on development of farmland alternative investment products. Prior to this involvement, Mr. Kanitra was the founder of Piedmont Select Properties, a micro-cap commercial real estate fund. Mr. Kanitra previously acted as an investment advisor for a global fixed income hedge fund. Earlier in his career, he managed arbitrage portfolios at ING Capital Markets, Marine Midland Bank and Metropolitan Securities in New York City.
PSI’s team touts two renowned Iowa State University (ISU) faculty members. Dermot Hayes is the Pioneer Hi-Bred International Chair in Agribusiness, professor of economics, and professor of finance at ISU. He is also co-director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at ISU. Dr. Mike Duffy works as an Extension Economist in farm management at ISU. He is the Director of Graduate Education in Sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Duffy is currently responsible for the annual land value survey, cost of crop production estimates, Iowa farm costs and returns publication and he is state leader for the Extension Farm Financial Planning Program. In 2009, Dr. Duffy was named one of the top 25 Iowans of influence by Iowa Farmer Today.