SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners"), a global leading private equity investment firm focused on investing in food and agribusiness, today announced that Dr. Stephen R. Padgette, former Vice President of R&D Investment Strategy at Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), is joining Paine & Partners as an Operating Director. Dr. Padgette brings over thirty years of experience in agricultural technology, R&D management and strategic planning and execution, and he will work with Paine & Partners to identify new investment opportunities and assist current portfolio companies in executing their strategies. Dr. Padgette had a distinguished career at Monsanto, where he recently worked to develop the company's growth strategies and investments focusing on biologicals and precision agriculture. He also launched Monsanto Growth Ventures corporate venture capital group, which by early 2016 had delivered over 20 investments in biologicals, imaging, chemistry, precision agriculture, biotechnology, and robotics. Earlier in his career, Dr. Padgette served as Vice President of Biotechnology at Monsanto, and was a co-inventor of Roundup Ready ® technology, the most widely-used crop biotechnology trait in history. Kevin Schwartz, President and a founding Partner of Paine & Partners said, "Steve's exceptional accomplishments and proven experience at Monsanto make him a terrific addition to the Paine & Partners team. We seek to increase productivity in the global food and agriculture value chain through investment in sustainable technologies, products and services. These goals align perfectly with Steve's broad expertise in biotechnology, R&D investment strategy and business development, which are bolstered by his significant experience as a research scientist. We welcome Steve to Paine & Partners and look forward to working together with him to enhance value at our portfolio companies, and further develop our new investment pipeline." Dr. Padgette said, "I am very excited to join Paine & Partners and am eager to apply my experience and perspectives. This is an exciting and important time for investing in agribusiness as the need for comprehensive solutions to increasing sustainable crop productivity continues to grow, and I look forward to working with Paine & Partners' strong team of operating and investing professionals to help identify and capture opportunities for the firm's portfolio companies and for new investments."