Chairman & CEO
Murray’s entrepreneurial spirit has defined his career; he founded Westchester in 1986 after acquiring the Champaign, IL division of the Sandage Companies. Murray transformed Westchester Group, Inc. from a small farmland investment firm into an industry-leading agricultural land asset management company. In 2010, Murray and the team sold the agricultural asset management division of WGI to TIAA-CREF. The Iowa farm real estate and management office, MWA Capital, and the land auction division of Westchester Group, Inc. subsequently formed Murray Wise Associates, LLC.
Murray attended Iowa State University, receiving a B.S. in Agriculture before returning to Southern Ontario to continue farming at the onset of his career. He also received a MBA from the University of Illinois and has received an honorary degree from Parkland College.
His passion for and knowledge of farmland investments has been the most important factor in his continued success. Murray has been honored with the V Dale Cozad award for his achievements in entrepreneurship in Champaign, IL. He has written two books on the subject of investing in farmland, and has been a guest speaker at Iowa State University, University of Illinois, Purdue University, and Parkland College. In 1998, he founded the Murray Wise Foundation which provides scholarships to students studying agriculture in higher education.
He has been involved in transactions in 24 different states, selling and acquiring agricultural properties producing a range of crops including: corn, soybeans, wheat, canola, oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, tomatoes, peanuts, almonds, cotton, potatoes, cherries, and grapes. Joe has been actively involved in farmland sales for major corporate landowners such as Exelon, Detroit Edison and American Electric Power.
Joe received his B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He’s a licensed real estate managing broker. Joe is also on the Board of Directors at Crisis Nursery in Urbana, IL; an emergency-based child care facility dedicated to preventing child abuse. He personally owns farmland in Illinois and Florida and has directed the acquisition and management of numerous farm properties for the MWA employees retirement plan.
Chief Financial Officer
Jeff is responsible for the financial statements, budgeting, accounting, and banking relationships for the MWA group of companies, over 60 farms owned by MWA clients, the MWA employee’s retirement plan, and the MWA Foundation. He is responsible for maintaining the regulatory reporting requirements of each state that MWA is currently active as well as daily administration items such as maintaining employee records & benefits, corporate building leases, corporate insurance, etc. Jeff draws off of his past experience in multi-location work environments to manage communication and information flow to maintain corporate cohesion between operating and geographic divisions alike.
He received a B.S. in Accounting from Illinois State University.
Executive Vice President
President, MWA Investments Latin American Operations
Robert has 35+ years experience in US and international agricultural investments. He is skilled in agricultural portfolio management, acquisitions, negotiation, business planning, risk management, and business development. He specializes in all types of agricultural investments in California, the US Midwest, the US Southeast and Delta area, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, England, Canada. He has spent considerable time living and working in South Africa & Chile and is fluent in Spanish.
Prior to MWA, Robert lead the agricultural investments strategies for Farmland Reserve, Inc., Utah Retirement Systems, American Farmland Company, and most recently, Farmland Partners Inc.
Robert received his M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Brigham Young University.
Executive Vice President
Kirkpatrick’s accomplishments can be attributed to relationships he has developed throughout the Midwest and his commitment to individual buyers and sellers. John specializes in farmland marketing through private treaty and public auction, farmland acquisition for institutional investors, livestock facility sales and acquisition, tax exchanges, and feedlot layout. He currently manages over $200M of land in Iowa and Illinois and has bought, sold, and managed hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural properties during his tenure with MWA, building relationships across the country.
John is an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC). Kirkpatrick is a Member of the National Association of Realtors and the Iowa Association of Realtors. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Executive Vice President
President, MWA Capital Advisors
Prior to joining MWA, Ken served as managing director and co-head of food and agribusiness investment banking for Duff & Phelps, LLC in Los Angeles, CA. There, he was responsible for marketing, selling and executing a wide variety of mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, restructuring and valuation engagements. Ken has worked directly with food and agribusiness clients, including farming operators, seed producers, equipment dealers, and produce, dairy, protein and other food processors, packers, wholesalers and distributors.
Prior to investment banking, Ken worked in the Audit and Accounting Division of McGladrey & Pullen, LLP and as a senior manager in the Consulting Services Division of RSM McGladrey, Inc.
Ken is a licensed real estate broker. He received his B.S. in Accounting from Western Illinois University and his MBA in strategic management from DePaul University. Ken was previously a Certified Public Accountant and has held various securities and real estate licenses.
Kati is licensed real estate broker. She received her B.S in Agricultural Finance from the University of Illinois, M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Kenny graduated with a B.S. from Illinois State University. He is a licensed real estate broker and auctioneer. He is a member of the REALTORS Land Institute and an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC). He is also a member of the National Auctioneers Association and a graduate of the association’s Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI).
Acquisitions and Investments, Manager
Devon received his B.S in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his MBA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Harrison is in charge of compiling the information and developing the property investment reports for the properties MWA manages. He is also a licensed drone pilot and is responsible for filming & analyzing aerial footage of properties that MWA acquires, manages and sells.
Harrison is a licensed real estate broker. He received his B.S in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Marketing Coordinator, Illinois Office Manager
Kate received her B.S in Industrial Relations from Illinois State University.
Executive Assistant, Florida Office Manager
Jamie is a licensed real estate broker in Florida and Illinois.
Real Estate Coordinator, Iowa Office Manager
Dawn is a licensed real estate broker in Iowa.