Dave Muth, PhD
Dave is responsible for core processes and workflows as well as business plan execution for AEA. He primarily supports AEA with synergistic cross-over functions within Peoples Company including Land Management platform strategy and execution, technology strategy, publicly representing the company through talks and speeches, and overall strategic planning. Dave is an entrepreneur, building businesses that focus on agriculture data service technologies, creating economic opportunities from sustainability and soil health focused management, and designing innovative land acquisition strategies that deliver enhanced investment returns. Prior to joining AEA in 2018, he co-founded AgSolver, Inc. in Ames, IA, an agricultural data service start-up to deliver economically focused management strategies at the sub-acre scale. Dave is trained as a mechanical engineer receiving his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He maintains a daily presence in production agriculture through his farming operation that works with his family farming business where he grew up in North Central Iowa.
Mark is responsible for building relationships with investors, devising investment structures that address investor objectives, and assisting in the development of investment strategies. He joined AEA in 2020 after twelve years with Bunge Financial Services in New York where he led the structuring and business development for several agricultural investment platforms offered to third-party investors including structures focused on Brazilian farmland investment, structured commodity finance, farmer finance, and dry-bulk vessel investment. His agricultural expertise covers not only the U.S. but also Brazil and other markets in South America. Mark has over 30 years of diverse experience in financial markets and has originated, structured, underwritten, and managed a variety of transactions covering project finance, private equity, distressed investing, infrastructure, and public finance. Mark graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with a joint BA/MA degree in economics and financial management.
Kyle oversees the Asset Management division for Peoples Company and collaborates with AEA to provide comprehensive management services. His executive role is to lead the management team as well as streamlining internal processes, implementing sustainable management practices, managing institutional assets, and expanding custom farming through Peoples Company’s Direct Operations platform. Kyle also develops management strategies to uniquely cater services for each individual client and farm. Kyle has fifteen years of experience in the asset management industry and regularly consults on large projects throughout the company’s national footprint. Kyle is an Accredited Farm Manager (AFM), Accredited Agricultural Consultant (AAC), and Certified Agricultural Consultant (CAC). Kyle received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.
Heather Welch Puri
Heather evaluates each operation’s ﬁnancials to understand historical asset performance and completes ﬁnancial modeling and forecasting for future operations. She joined AEA in 2019 after serving as the managing director and co-founder of River Glen Private Capital, managing six different pooled investment LLCs which provided funding to eight early-stage ag tech, med tech and fin tech companies in Iowa and Minnesota. Heather worked as an Associate and Valuation Specialist for Alliant Partners/Silicon Valley Bancshares, a technology mergers and acquisitions firm. She received her M.B.A. with honors and distinction from Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University, with majors in finance and strategic management and her bachelor’s degree in quantitative economics from Stanford University.
Hunter oversees the sourcing, analysis, and diligence of investment-grade agricultural assets across the United States. He proactively seeks out value-added investment opportunities according to the speciﬁc investment mandate of each client. Prior to joining AEA in 2018, he assisted with brokerage, marketing, and investment services at Peoples Company. Hunter received his bachelor’s degree in real estate and finance from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers and the American Society of Agricultural Consultants. Hunter holds real estate licenses in the following states: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Jake assembles data and performs analysis on investment-grade agricultural assets including historical performance assessments, mapping, and regional evaluations. He manages a database of land listings and auctions throughout all target regions to maintain comprehensive deal ﬂow. Jake joined AEA in 2019 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Northwest Missouri State University.