Our leaders

Meet the experienced and passionate people who run our business.

José Nobre

Chief Executive Officer, AB Agri

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José Nobre

Chief Executive Officer, AB Agri

José’s farming background ignited his passion for agriculture and his strongly-held belief that what we eat, and what we feed our families, should be produced safely and sustainably. 

He completed his Baccalaureate in farming, gaining practical experience on poultry and swine production units. After graduating in biochemistry and molecular biology at the Universities of Rouen and Marseille, José began working in the biotech field, where his farming knowledge inspired him to pioneer the use of technology in agricultural production. This was the start of his extensive international career, which has taken him across Europe, the US, Japan, Latin America and China, and included the creation of crop protection company Arysta LifeScience EMEA, which he built and nurtured into a successful global business.

José has fulfilled a variety of executive and business development roles, operating across the human health, animal health, nutrition and feed, and crop protection sectors.

Scott Gurvis

Chief Financial Officer (CFO), AB Agri

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Scott Gurvis

Chief Financial Officer (CFO), AB Agri

A certified public accountant with a varied portfolio of financial roles spanning many industries and countries – including a crop protection business as CFO of Europe, Middle East and Africa – Scott took on the role at AB Agri in 2019 and has never looked back. 

Committed to having an impact and empowering employees to develop and execute ideas, he makes a difference every day at AB Agri.

Kelly Brown

Group People & Performance Director, AB Agri

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Kelly Brown

Group People & Performance Director, AB Agri

Before joining AB Agri in 2013 as HR Manager, Kelly completed a degree in human resource management at the University of Leeds. She is now responsible for the people and HR strategy across AB Agri globally. She ensures that flexibility and choice is at the heart of her leadership approach, while creating a place of trust and empowerment for her team and other colleagues.

Focused on supporting the people within the business, Kelly enables long-term performance and excellence for AB Agri’s customers and industry.
 

Simon Heath

Managing Director, AB Connect

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Simon Heath

Managing Director, AB Connect

Having joined AB Agri in the late 80s as part of the graduate scheme in the UK, Simon has a passion for agriculture, stemming from his farming background. 

He held several sales and management positions across the UK before pursuing numerous business development opportunities in the US, Canada and China. 

Following the amalgamation of ABN, KW and Trident into new animal nutrition business AB Connect, Simon was appointed its Managing Director, overseeing a turnover of £1 billion and a workforce of more than 760 people.

Dr Valerie Schuster

Managing Director, Livalta

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Dr Valerie Schuster

Managing Director, Livalta

Valerie studied economics at university in Germany and financed her studies by working in IT and as a freelance sports reporter. After her PhD, she moved to Ethiopia, working for a large German-Ethiopian development programme to kickstart the country’s industrialisation. From there, she joined the Boston Consulting Group, working all over the world in strategy for chemicals, energy and pro bono projects to prevent chronic malnutrition of children. 

Valerie joined the strategy team of AB Agri in the UK in 2015 and became Managing Director of Livalta in 2020.

Nie Kuo

Managing Director, AB Agri China

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Nie Kuo

Managing Director, AB Agri China

Mr Nie joined the business in 2004 in the role of General Manager at the Liaoning Company. In 2012 he became responsible for leading our successful ABNA business, overseeing six feed mills across China. Today Mr Nie holds the position of Managing Director of AB Agri China, managing 10 mills, 1 trading company and 1 group management center, which in total employs around 1000 people.  

With Mr Nie's leadership, AB Agri China draws on three decades of feed safety management experience in the UK, bringing together international knowledge from across AB Agri and the ABF group, with a rich understanding of the livestock and feed sector in China.

Juan Ignacio (Nacho) Fernández

Managing Director, AB Vista

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Juan Ignacio (Nacho) Fernández

Managing Director, AB Vista

Nacho became Managing Director of AB Vista in September 2020. He joined AB Vista in 2015 as Regional Sales Director for West and South Europe, before becoming EMEA Director in 2017. 

Nacho is an agriculture engineer by training, specialising in animal production. He has over 25 years’ experience, having worked for many different feed additive companies over the years. 

He holds an MBA from ESIC in Madrid, Spain and further qualifications in animal nutrition.

Josh Hoopes

Managing Director, Intellync

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Josh Hoopes

Managing Director, Intellync

Josh re-joined AB Agri in 2018 after five years at our sister company AB Sugar where he held a number of general management and commercial positions in bioethanol, seed technology and horticulture. 

While leading the transformation of British Sugar’s horticulture business he became a keen advocate of using data and technology to drive agricultural productivity forward. 

Josh holds a BSc in Finance from the University of Utah and an MBA from Manchester Business School which led to his early career experience with Deloitte, AB Agri and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Dr Ian Wellock

Managing Director, AB Neo

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Dr Ian Wellock

Managing Director, AB Neo

Following a degree in Animal Science and PhD in pig nutrition at the University of Edinburgh, Ian continued his academic career investigating nutritional alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters in weaned piglets. In 2007 Ian joined AB Agri as a pig nutritionist with ABN. Two years later he moved across to Primary Diets to focus on piglet nutrition. He became General Manager of Primary Diets in 2015 before taking up the opportunity to lead the newly-created AB Neo division in 2020. 

In his current role, Ian is building on the strong foundations of Agilia (Denmark), ASN (Spain) and Primary Diets (Poland and UK), to meet the nutritional needs of young farmed animals. 
The best part of working at AB Agri for Ian? The industry and people we are able to work with, our customers and colleagues.

 

Dr Helen (Nell) Masey O’Neil

Innovation Director, AB Agri

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Dr Helen (Nell) Masey O’Neil

Innovation Director, AB Agri

With a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in poultry nutrition from the University of Nottingham, Helen, often known as Nell, joined the AB vista R&D team in 2010 following an academic career teaching and researching in the fields of equine and poultry production.

She became our Innovation Director in May 2020 and is passionate about the opportunity that agriculture has in providing nutritious and affordable food for everyone. Leading the early stages of the Agridata project and the development of AB Vista's novel Signis product, Helen is an essential member of the team, while also holding the role of Vice President of the UK branch of the World's Poultry Science Association. 

Angela Booth

Director of Responsibility, AB Agri

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Angela Booth

Director of Responsibility, AB Agri

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a BSc in animal nutrition, Angela worked as a nutritionist for a UK national feed compounder for four years before joining a regional animal feed business in the North of England which became part of AB Agri in 2001.

Angela has been our Feed Safety Director since 2016 and now holds the position of Director of Responsibility, leading our team towards our goal of Net Zero in our operations by 2030.

With a wealth of experience in marketing, commodity purchasing, supply chain management, commercial account management, nutrition and quality assurance, Angela is also Chair of the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) and the FEFAC Feed Safety Management Committee, as well as a member of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs (ACAF).

Ricardo Daura

Strategic Marketing Director, AB Agri

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Ricardo Daura

Strategic Marketing Director, AB Agri

An IE Business School graduate and an economist by education, and with a BA in Economy from La Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, Ricardo joined AB Agri in 2019. He previously worked on the strategic plan at Provimi, before becoming part of the Cargill organisation where he undertook several strategic marketing and management positions within the Iberia and South Europe clusters. He then joined the corporate team leading strategic marketing for ruminants and digital initiatives.

Having also held several business development and strategy management positions in other industries, such as car leasing, internet advertising and retailing, his interests have predominantly been animal nutrition related, with a genuine appreciation of farming and agriculture.

Committed to contributing to agriculture globally, Ricardo is focused on making AB Agri a global leading contributor to the future of the industry.

Neil Fyfe

Global Supply Chain Director, AB Agri

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Neil Fyfe

Global Supply Chain Director, AB Agri

With a chemical engineering and manufacturing background, Neil has worked at AB Agri for five years, having spent 15 at sister company, AB Sugar. With a passion for improving the agricultural food sector, he has over 20 years of experience and has worked and lived extensively worldwide across multiple parts of the food supply chain, including sugar, horticulture, seed, biofulels and feed, prior to joining AB Agri in 2016. 

Fully focused on developing the business' global supply chain teams, Neil is committed to delivering the best and most responsible product in the market. 

David Goddin

Transformation Director, AB Agri

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David Goddin

Transformation Director, AB Agri

An accomplished leader, David has experience across several industries and, having worked in a people-focused consultancy, he brings a distinctive view on strategy delivery, organisational development and transformation.
 
Joining the business as Head of Talent and Organisation Development in 2017, he then progressed to Organisation Performance Director before taking on the role of Transformation Director in 2020. Responsible for ensuring the business executes its transformation well, he is excited about the many aspects of work that AB Agri undertakes across the world and the high calibre of people he works with. 

 

Pascal Martel

Enterprise Performance Director, AB Agri

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Pascal Martel

Enterprise Performance Director, AB Agri

Passionate about agriculture and technology, Pascal joined AB Agri in 2018. As our Enterprise Performance Director, he is predominantly responsible for ensuring the IT team uses technology to digitise the business’s operations and industry. He also oversees our project management office (PMO) activities to define and maintain standards. 

His achievements include a master’s in management from Toulouse Business School, experience in financial planning across manufacturing and services industries in China, France, Ireland and the UK, and establishing the performance and analytics function for the integration of crop protection companies internationally.

Mark Aitchison

Managing Director, Frontier Agriculture

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Mark Aitchison

Managing Director, Frontier Agriculture

Liverpudlian Mark attained a BSc in Applied Biology from the city’s University before gaining a post-graduate degree in Agronomy and Crop Husbandry from Harper Adams Agricultural College. Starting out as a trainee agronomist with Schering Agriculture, over the next eight years he progressed to the position of Group Accounts Manager.

In 1992, Mark joined Cargill’s agricultural division, subsequently occupying several roles including Regional Sales Manager, Commercial Director and ultimately, General Manager. Following Cargill’s merger with Banks Agriculture, he was appointed MD of the newly formed business, playing a leading role in a further merger with Allied Grain and becoming Managing Director of Frontier Agriculture Ltd in 2005. Rutland resident Mark is a trustee of the county’s agricultural society and in 2014 was awarded an honorary doctorate from his former university, Harper Adams, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to UK agriculture.