CommStream brings together exceptional talent including world leading commodity streaming expertise as well as experience managing leading agricultural enterprises, prominent financial institutions and international businesses. The team combines tradition with innovation and boasts a successful track record building innovative companies in commodity sectors.
DAVID TRUDE, BCOM – CHAIRMAN
Over 40 years of experience in financial service roles in the banking and securities industries
Recently inducted into the Australian Stockbrokers Foundation Hall of Fame
Current Chairman of E. L. & C. Baillieu stockbrokers, one of Australia’s oldest and most respected financial service providers
Independent Director of Chi-X Australia
Member of the Society of Investment Professionals and the Stockbrokers Association of Australia
Former CEO and Country Manager of Credit Suisse Australia
Mike Chaseling – Director
Mike has over 30 years’ agribusiness experience and is currently an investor and non-executive Director for geo-spatial agri-data business, Precision Agriculture Pty Ltd
Mike was a co-founder and Director of Emerald Grain, Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Risk Committee. Emerald grew from concept to top five grain exporter in Australia in 10 years, with over 1 million tonnes owned grain storage, port facilities in Melbourne and a turnover in excess of A$1.5 billion. Mike and co-founders sold Emerald to Sumitomo in 2014
Prior to Emerald, Mike was CEO of NETCO (group of farmer grain marketing cooperatives) and held senior grain trading positions at ConAgra Trade Group, DR Johnston and the Australian Wheat Board
Mike has been a Director of Southern Quality Produce Pty Ltd, EP Grain Pty Ltd (Chairman), Southern Ag Grain Pty Ltd (Chairman) and industry body, Grain Trade Australia (Director)
Mike has consulted to the Sydney Futures Exchange on agricultural commodities and owned an organic mixed farming enterprise in Northern NSW
Mike holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Systems Agriculture) from the University of Western Sydney, has completed the Young Managers Program at Mt Eliza Business School, and the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania
Charlie Blomfield, GAICD, BAgSc, RG146 – executive Director
Co-founder and Director of CommStream Capital Ltd
Founding Managing Director and CEO of Agricultural Management Company Pty Ltd (AMC), through which he has worked with clients such as Terra Firma, Qatar Investment Authority, SGRF Oman, Landmark, Guinness Peat Group and major Australian banks in investing and managing their agricultural assets
From a multi-generational farming family background and has been involved with production agriculture his entire career in livestock, cropping, cotton and horticulture
Bachelor of Agricultural Science, RG146 compliant for Managed Investments and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
Non-Executive Director of the Future Farmers Network Limited and Former Non-Executive Director of the Agribusiness Association of Australia Limited
Attendee of the Forbes Global CEO Conference, a meeting of 400 selected global CEO’s, entrepreneurs and leaders
Regularly quoted in newspapers such as The Australian, Australian Financial Review, Wall Street Journal and Sky News Business Channel
Simon Skerrett, BBus – Chief Operating Officer
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of CommStream Capital Ltd
Simon, a member of a multi-generational farming family, combines strong farming tradition with innovative financial expertise
Having completed a Bachelor of Finance with an extended major in Funds Management at Queensland Universtiy of Technology, Simon worked for prominent financial institutions including Halifax Bank of Scotland, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Baillieu Holst Stockbroking
In 2012 Simon commenced the establishment of an agricultural co-investment model to align farmer and institutional investor interests. The primary aim of the model is to promote the up scaling of existing successful farming operations, leveraging best in class knowledge and technology, providing operators with capital investment for expansion.
Simon’s work establishing his agricultural fund model has been incorporated into the CommStream structure
Simon has established extensive relationships with farmers in Australia’s highest yielding grain growing regions, and has gained an in-depth knowledge for the abilities, character and reputation of each farming district and its associated key players
jOHN hOWARD – Chief eXECUTIVE Officer
John has been the CEO of the Peanut Company of Australia (PCA) for the last 5 years before finishing up upon the sale of PCA to Bega Cheese. During this time PCA underwent a major turnaround, transformation and evolution where John executed a debt for equity swap with their bank, sold non-core assets (NT farming properties), drove growth through the launch of its own branded products ("Picky Picky" snack and oil products) and ultimately completed the sale of PCA to Bega Cheese.
John’s career to date has mainly been in the FMCG, Food and Agribusiness sectors with organisations either going through significant internal change or turnaround (PCA , Golden Circle) or industry transformation (Mars). Each of these organisations needed to undertake a major change in strategy, operations and finances in order to achieve their desired outcomes. In the case of PCA and Golden Circle this was achieved through the trade sale of both these organisation at substantial returns to shareholders.
In addition to the above roles John also spent nearly 10 years in the grain trade (AWB, NSW Grains Board, ABB), 3 years running the family farm at Walgett, NSW and 3 years with Elders.