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Highquest Partners Announces Promotions and Addition to Management Team (11.18.2008)

Press Release -- TOPSFIELD, MA -- November 18, 2008 -- HighQuest Partners, LLC, a strategic advisory and management consulting firm, announced today three promotions within its management team. Philippe de Lapérouse is named a Managing Director of the firm, William Devens has been promoted to Director, and George “Tripp” Lantz is appointed as Finance and Operations Controller.

“These developments reflect the extraordinary contributions of three members of our management team as well as HighQuest Partners’ continued growth and development in our 9th year of business,” said Greg Mellinger, CEO of HighQuest Partners. “When Philippe joined our firm in 2006, it signaled our commitment to building a world class global food and agribusiness practice, and we are confident that we are succeeding. Philippe’s extensive experience and keen strategic insights have continued to open the door to new opportunities for clients and us with some of the world’s leading companies. In addition, he has spearheaded development of new initiatives such as our subsidiary Soyatech’s ‘Global Soybean & Grain Transport Conference’ that has extended the value of our brand and capabilities. I am delighted to congratulation Philippe on this promotion and look forward to working with him to grow our business in the coming years.”

“Since joining HighQuest, Bill has continued to exhibit leadership in client engagements in all our practice areas.  He is an exceptionally team-oriented person who has played a significant role in the expansion of our firm’s strategic work with clients around the world and the quality of these services.  Bill is a wonderful person who continues to set the example for dedication and hard work at all times.”  Mellinger continued. “Tripp brings tremendous depth in the financial aspects of our business to all of our organizations, both operationally and strategically. From his previous roles as an investment banker, financial controller, and business owner and entrepreneur, Tripp’s background in forming and running successful businesses is a value addition to us. We are pleased to elevate him to this newly created position of responsibility and oversight.”

Philippe de Lapérouse joined HighQuest Partners in 2006 as Director of its Global Food and Agribusiness practice and head of its St. Louis, Missouri, office. He has brought to HighQuest nearly 25 years experience in senior leadership positions with global companies in the agro-industrial and value-added food chain as well as in private equity investing. Prior to joining High Quest, he was a Principal at Vanikoro Advisory LLC where he advised clients on their financial and global expansion strategies.  Previously, as Director of Business Development for Bunge North America, Inc., the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), Mr. de Lapérouse was responsible for the company’s efforts to expand its industrial operations into Mexico and the Caribbean Basin, biotech and e-commerce initiatives, and public relations / corporate communications before and after Bunge’s successful IPO in 2001.

Mr. de Lapérouse was also associated with the Fund for Large Enterprises in Russia (FLER), a private equity fund investing in Russian enterprises and joint ventures with Western companies, where he was responsible for the firm’s flagship Moscow office and overseeing investment activity. He has also held senior line management positions at Ralston Purina International in both the United States and Europe.

He received an M.B.A. degree from The Darden School of Business at The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and a B.A. degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

William Devens joined as an engagement manager in HighQuest Partners’ Global Food and Agribusiness Practice in 2006. He has worked on projects ranging from marketing strategies for specialty products in the soy protein industry to sourcing strategies of oils for the biofuels industry. Prior to joining HighQuest Partners, he worked as an economic analyst for Bunge Corporation for six years. There, he was responsible for preparing site selection and due diligence analyses for port acquisitions in Vietnam and Latvia, devising entry strategies into the Polish and Latin American markets, studying supply and demand trends and trade flows in the international soybean and grain markets, and analyzing macroeconomic and political trends in Bunge’s key markets. He also worked as a soybean trader with Bunge as a soybean meal trader with Bunge in Hamburg, Germany.

Mr. Devens received a B.A. degree in History from Davidson College in 1992 and a M.I.M. degree with a concentration in International Economics from Thunderbird in 1999.

Tripp Lantz was hired in 2008 as Director of Finance & Operations responsible for overseeing the financial and operational aspects of all HighQuest Partners LLC companies, which include Soyatech, LLC and ComplianceQuest, LLC. Mr. Lantz brings to HighQuest a strong background in management, finance and accounting as well as experience in growing companies. He began his career as BankBoston as an investment banker and has been involved as a owner and manager with several innovative high growth companies including Universal Provision Group, LLC, an exporter of innovative building products throughout the Caribbean, and Kleer Lumber, LLC, the world’s 2nd largest manufacturer of PVC lumber and trim. His career also includes five years serving as president of The Winsor Group, a financial consulting group. 

A member of the Society of Industry Leaders, he received a B.A. degree from Hobart College in Geneva, New York and an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.

About HighQuest Partners, LLC

HighQuest Partners (www.highquestpartners.com) is a strategic advisory and management consulting firm that helps global food, soya, oilseed, agribusiness and agri-transportation executives to make decisions about strategy, investments/M&A and governance initiatives. Since its founding in 2000, the firm has completed over 200 engagements for leading companies around the world.  HighQuest Partners’ Group Companies include Soyatech (www.soyatech.com) and ComplianceQuest Partners (www.hqcompliance.com).  HighQuest’s headquarters are in Topsfield, MA on the North Shore of Boston.

Contact:     Ann Seamonds, 978-887-9959, seamonds@seamonds.com

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