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Former Fonterra boss Ferrier joins Bunge board

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Andrew Ferrier, who received a $6.7m pay-off on quitting the helm at dairy giant Fonterra, has further raised his financial prospects by taking a directorship at Bunge, the US-based crop giant.

Bunge said that it had appointed Mr Ferrier as an independent director "effective immediately", highlighting a five-year spell at Tate & Lyle, including at its now-sold sugar operations, besides his eight years as chief executive of Fonterra.

"Andrew brings significant experience as the former chief executive of an international company focused on agricultural exports," Alberto Weisser, the Bunge chairman and chief executive, said.

"His success in growing business and market share, along with his deeply relevant operational experience in the sugar industry, will make him a valuable addition to our board."

Bunge has, like peers such as Louis Dreyfus and Noble, invested in Brazilian sugar.

'A lot of money'

Mr Ferrier's appointment comes a year after he quit Fonterra, where his time in charge saw the group lift its profile as a global dairy export giant, including through the launch of the GlobalDairyTrade auctions of products such as whole milk powder and cheddar cheese.

He was in September revealed to have left Fonterra with a pay-off of some $6.7m which the group chairman, Sir Henry van der Heyden, acknowledged was "a lot of money", but said that it reflected Mr Ferrier's contribution to the group,

"The fundamental core of our payment system to management is based on performance, so this is the wash-up of Andrew's long-term incentives, and his short term-incentives," Sir Henry said.

Bunge has yet to reveal what it is paying Mr Ferrier. However, group filings reveal that, for 2011, its independent directors received between $155,000 and $227,000 in cash and shares.

"Our compensation program for non-employee directors is designed to enable us to attract, retain and motivate highly-qualified directors to serve on our board," the filing said.

Broad interests

Other Bunge independent directors include Patrick Lupo, former chairman and chief executive of DHL, and a former director of O2, the UK mobile phone operator.

Mr Ferrier is also managing director of Canz Capital, a private equity company he founded last year, a member of the University of Auckland Council, and last month became chairman of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the development agency.

By Agrimoney.com

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