leadership

Laurent Bogaert

Laurent Bogaert is our Group CFO, overseeing finance, accounting, controlling, treasury, risk, tax and IT.

Born in Belgium in 1969, Laurent has spent the last 25-years of his extensive finance career within agri-businesses & trading, during which he has lived in Switzerland, Belgium, France, Spain, Hungary, Poland and the USA. Laurent holds a Masters in Commercial and Financial Sciences from ICHEC University, Brussels, and has also completed ESADE & INSEAD programs in Leadership & International Operations Management respectively.

After 17-years at Bunge, Laurent joined Ameropa in his current role in October 2020.

Alexander Chumakov

Alexander Chumakov is the COO, Fertilizers.

Born in 1963, Alex graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985 with BS Economics (Wharton) and BA Political Science (CAS), later followed by an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business 2001. He commenced working in fertilizer trade with International Raw Materials of Philadelphia in 1985, before joining Toepfer International Asia Pte Ltd Singapore as a trader in the fertilizer department in 1991 where he went on to hold various senior management roles in Europe and Asia.

Alex joined Ameropa in 2008, establishing Ameropa Asia Pte Ltd. In 2014, he took on the additional role of Chief Trader Fertilizers with the responsibility of managing the groups global fertilizer trade. In 2015, he was appointed COO of the Fertilizer Group.

Andreas Rickmers

Andreas Rickmers is COO – Food & Feed.

Born in Germany in 1964, Andreas studied agricultural economics at the University of Kiel before joining Cargill in 1991. During his 25-year career with Cargill, Andreas worked in senior management positions in Germany, South Africa, Ukraine and Switzerland, with his last 10 years at Cargill spent as Vice President for their grain and oilseeds activities in Europe. In 2017, he accepted the position as CEO of Agravis, a large German cooperative. Andreas joined Ameropa in his current role in March 2021 and is based in Lausanne.

Shota Avaliani

Shota Avaliani is the Head of Risk at Ameropa. He is responsible for the Risk Team and all risk management topics across the Ameropa Group.

Shota has more than 15 years of risk management experience, including in risk analysis and management positions in various banks and commodity trading houses. Shota holds an MBA from the University of Manchester.

Anita Buchli

Anita Buchli is the Head of Tax at Ameropa. Supervising the VAT department, she runs project for direct tax, transfer pricing and tax audits.

Anita graduated from the University of Fribourg with a Master in Law before continuing on to become an Attorney at Law and a Swiss Certified Tax Expert.

Following a 20+ year career spent in a variety of industries and different Tax and Legal roles, Anita joined Ameropa in 2015.

Paula Freire

Paula Freire is Group Head of Information Systems and Technology, working closely with our management and businesses around the world to define and deliver Ameropa’s IT Strategy.

With over 15years of experience in leading strategic implementation initiatives and change management / transformation programs, Paula joined Ameropa in September 2022 following 4years as CIO EMEA, APAC and China and Global Head of IT Applications in COFCO and 4years as the Head of IT Global Trading, Execution and Customer Service in Louis Dreyfus Company.

Paula holds a Master in Technology Management from Georgetown University and is currently also a Professor in the MSc Commodities Trading programme at the University of Geneva

Sophie Martin

Sophie Martin is COO, Grains Origination and Assets.

Sophie graduated from ESSEC Business School in Paris with an MBA in Finance & Strategy. She started her career as a financial auditor for KPMG and held various finance and operations positions within Louis Dreyfus for 10 years, in their US, Singapore and Geneva offices.

Since joining Ameropa in 2016, Sophie has led a variety of activities, including strategy development, business development, acquisitions and investments across all 3 of Ameropa’s business clusters.

Cristian Moldovan

Cristian Moldovan is General Manager, Romania Origination & Distribution.

Originally an Engineer, Cristian is a long-time agri-entrepreneur in Romania, who joined the Ameropa Group in 2018 when Ameropa acquired shares in Promat, the company he established in 1998 and which he has been growing and leading ever since.

Since December 2021, Cristian oversees all of our Origination, Distribution & Logistic activities in Romania, including Ameropa Grains, Chimpex, Promat & Agroind.

Jim Mole

Jim Mole is the CEO, Ameropa Australia. He has full P&L responsibility for Ameropa Australia, covering all Commercial, Manufacturing and Operations activities as well as all support functions.  

After growing up on a farm in the Redlands district of Southeast Queensland, he graduated from Gatton College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticultural Technology), with First Class Honours. A 16-year career with Dow Chemical covered various Australian assignments, along with General Management roles in New Zealand, the Philippines and Vietnam.  

Before joining Ameropa in 2013, Jim spent the previous seven years with The Chamberlain Group, most recently in the capacity of Managing Director for the Oceania region.

Gabriel Sztutwojner

Gabriel Sztutwojner is the Chief Fertilizer Trader.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1977, Gabriel started his trading career in Ameropa Switzerland in 2003. Prior to this he studied Accounting and Business Administration at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Buenos Aires.

In 2007 he joined Trammo as the Global Head of Urea trading where he spent 6 years.

He returned to Ameropa in 2013 as the Head of Nitrogen until he was appointed Chief Trader for Fertilizers in 2015.

Simon Taylor

Simon Taylor is our Strategic HR Manager, and he takes the lead on all Group-wide strategic HR and organisational development initiatives, including Employee Engagement, Talent, Leadership and Culture development.

Simon graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2006 with a first-class Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. Over the course of his career, Simon has held a variety of roles in different HR disciplines and industries, including healthcare, IT consulting & services, maritime shipping and now, Agri-commodities.  

Simon moved from the UK to Switzerland in 2015, before joining Ameropa in April 2018.

Gregory Wierzynski

Gregory Wierzynski joined Ameropa in June 2021 as Group General Counsel, leading our Legal & Compliance function. 

Greg completed his degree in Ethics, Politics & Economics at Yale University, followed by his Juris Doctor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Greg is an English solicitor and U.S. attorney with broad in-house experience covering commodity trading and shipping, arbitration & litigation, corporate transactions, financing, and compliance matters.  Prior to joining Ameropa, Gregory worked as a legal counsel at both Cargill and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.  He started his legal career as an attorney at the U.S. Department of State.

Josh Zacharias

Gregory Wierzynski joined Ameropa in June 2021 as Group General Counsel, leading our Legal & Compliance function. 

Greg completed his degree in Ethics, Politics & Economics at Yale University, followed by his Juris Doctor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Greg is an English solicitor and U.S. attorney with broad in-house experience covering commodity trading and shipping, arbitration & litigation, corporate transactions, financing, and compliance matters.  Prior to joining Ameropa, Gregory worked as a legal counsel at both Cargill and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.  He started his legal career as an attorney at the U.S. Department of State.

Pierre-Alain Zatara

Pierre-Alain Zatara is our Group Financial Controller, overseeing consolidation, FP&A, controlling and accounting.

Born in France in 1980, Pierre-Alain holds a master’s degree in Audit from HEC, Paris and a master’s degree in Engineering from CentraleSupélec, Paris.

After starting his career as an auditor for KPMG, Pierre-Alain has spent the last 15-years of his career in various finance roles within the international agri-business industry, first in Louis Dreyfus Company and then at COFCO International, most recently as their Group Head of Business Controlling.