Agria Corp. names Houston businessman to board of directors

Brent de Jong -- who has extensive experience in private equity, investment banking and mergers and acquisitions -- has been appointed to Agria Corp.’s board of directors, the company said on Monday.

Agria Executive Chairman Alan Lai said de Jong will work closely with Agria executives to evaluate growth and expansion opportunities.

“De Jong has notable experience as a board member internationally and has held senior executive roles focused on growth and value creation, which will help Agria identify and capitalize on high-return investment opportunities,” Lai said. “It is an ideal time to bring de Jong into this strategic position, and we look forward to his contributions as we continue to expand Agria's capabilities and global footprint.”

De Jong, based in Houston, is a director at a number of international public companies. He was an emerging-market fund manager, with $65 billion in assets under management, at London-based Ashmore Investment Management Ltd. from 2002 to 2011. At Ashmore, he was head of special situations and infrastructure investments on the firm's investment committee and also focused on special-situation investments in Latin America and in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). While at Ashmore, de Jong led a consortium of shareholders that founded AEI, which owned and operated more than 50 essential energy infrastructure assets in 19 countries and employed 15,000 people. He served as AEI’s CEO from 2006 to 2007, and later as vice chairman. de Jong negotiated the break-up and sale of AEI's assets in 2011.

De Jong worked at J.P. Morgan from 1997 to 2002, first in the financial-institutions group in London, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions in EMEA emerging markets and later in the structured-finance group in New York City. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Georgetown University.

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