Just before graduating from College Richard was recruited by Price Waterhouse (PW&Co), a leading international CPA firm. Assignments at PW&Co ranged from Gulf Oil to sugar businesses located in South Louisiana. When one of the sugar businesses, owned by a public company, negotiated to purchase a farming business in California, Richard was sent to the West Coast to review the financial records of the acquisition target.
Richard was subsequently hired by the California farm owners that he met when his client acquired some of the businesses owned by the farmers. Richard was initially Controller and later became a partner/CFO with members of the family. Within a matter of a few years the reconfigured business became the largest farm company in America. Richard (1) helped negotiate financings and joint ventures with insurance companies, (2) designed the first Ag Mortgage for vineyards planted on leasehold property, among other things. He led the effort to purchase two fully integrated sugar businesses in Louisiana, merged and operated them as CEO for many years and then sold the business to a public company in 1992. Forty years of working in Ag Finance, mostly as a borrower, followed by ten years of financial advisory work for clients/borrowers gives Richard a unique position to advise and assist borrowers.
After exiting active agricultural investments Richard did advisory work for others involved in agriculture, including a grower/packer/marketer of fresh fruit in Central California. Richard also provided strategic and financial advisory work for an owner of a manufacturer of critical parts used in semi-conductor vacuum chambers, located in the bay area. Included in the work was negotiation of a recapitalization of the business, becoming CEO during which time the business grew from $15 to $100 Million in sales and negotiating a sale to Bechtel Industries in 2000.
Richard became the Managing Director of Ag Lending Group LLC, a company formed by his wife and daughter Madison. Richard and Madison originate mortgages for farmers across the United States. Though their roots are in California Agriculture, they are proud to be working with and helping farmers who grow a variety of commodities across the United States.