This gold guy managed $40 billion at BlackRock — but quit to run a farm instead

It’s common to hear of high-flying professionals deciding to make a career change. What’s not as common is to go from managing $40 billion in assets to running your own farms across 2,300 acres in the English countryside.

But that’s what Graham Birch did, swapping a leadership role at investment behemoth BlackRock in London for a life as a farmer. He went from poring over price data in commodity markets to analyzing satellite images of cropland — and now sells milk, oats and other foodstuffs produced at his farms in the southwest England county of Dorset.

The leap from fund manager to farmer is a big one, but one thread runs along Birch’s path: his affinity for commodities.

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