She was Head of Credit Approvals at Rabobank Group
Aqua-Spark has announced that Lissy Smit is its new CEO. Previously, she was Head of Credit Approvals at Rabobank Group. Smit will be responsible for strengthening the team to increase the value of Aqua-Spark’s portfolio while maximizing impact and industry transformation.
The aim of the company is to make aquaculture industry healthier and more sustainable by building an ecosystem of solutions across the aquaculture value chain. That is why it has doubled the fund’s assets under management in 2021
Therefore, the company is on a growth trajectory with over EUR 300 million in assets under management. The value of Aqua-Spark’s portfolio will be increased to EUR 3-5 billion in assets under management by 2030.
Regarding this appointment, Mike Velings, and Amy Novogratz, Co-founders of Aqua-Spark stated: “Lissy Smit’s expertise and track record as a change-maker within Rabobank, one of the largest financiers of the seafood industry, is what we feel Aqua-Spark needs to professionalize further and to expand to this next level.”
On the other hand, Smit said: “Developing a sustainable food value chain is a passion of mine, so I look forward to supporting and growing innovative companies that provide solutions to some of the biggest challenges in aquaculture while creating value for investors.”
Before, she took up roles in leveraged lending, where she set up the team in Asia and significantly grew the business in North America by working closely with investors to finance companies in the food and agricultural sector. She will start next 1st of September.
Aqua-Spark was launched in 2014. It is an investment fund with a mission to transform the global aquaculture industry into one that is healthier, more sustainable, and more accessible. They invest in aquaculture companies across the value chain—spanning farming operations, alternative feed ingredients, disease-battling technology, and consumer-facing aquaculture products.
These companies are solving some of the industry’s big challenges while bringing returns that are comparable to today’s traditional industry. The portfolio works as an ecosystem, with the companies agreeing to collaborate on optimal solutions, and working together toward this shared vision of a more efficient global aquaculture industry. Since 2015, the fund has invested in 24 complementary SMEs.
Thus far, Aqua-Spark has EUR 315 million in assets under management, dedicated to investments in elements of the aquaculture industry that will make fish farming sustainable. The goal of the fund is to ultimately make sustainability widespread and profitable enough that it becomes the only way to farm fish.