Hubertus van der Vaart
Bert van der Vaart is the Co-founder and CEO of SEAF, one of the leading emerging market private equity groups and impact investors globally. Bert is the leader of SEAF’s global operations, including: fund launch efforts – 36 funds and more than USD 1 bn in committed capital; over 400 investments and 300 divestments; and SEAF’s global representative at various conferences and panels. Has also led the SEAF India Agribusiness Fund, and SEAF’s first fund, CARESBAC-Polska. Bert is also a member of SEAF’s Global Investment Committee.
Bert co-founded SEAF in 1989, when it was known as the CARE Small Business Assistance Corporation (CARESBAC). In 1992, Bert negotiated the establishment of CARESBAC/SEAF’s first fund in Poland, which grew to $16.8 million total capital under management under his leadership as the fund’s Director General. While serving as Director-General of CARESBAC-Polska from August 1994 until May 1997, the company completed 27 SME investments and realized its first 6 exits. In 1997, Mr. van der Vaart was appointed CEO and President of SEAF, where he has since been involved with the establishment and supervision of every SEAF fund, frequently traveling to collaborate with each SEAF fund office. In 2008, he became Executive Chairman of SEAF’s Board of Directors and became associated with Discovery Global Citizens Fund, an international investment firm. Mr. van der Vaart moved to New Delhi, India in September 2010, where he directed the initial phase of SEAF’s India Agribusiness Fund, completing his work in 2012. Mr. van der Vaart has served as CEO of SEAF since 2012.
From 1984 through 1994, Mr. van der Vaart was a Partner and Associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C, Frankfurt, and Brussels where he specialized in corporate and financial transactions. Prior to working for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company in London and Munich.
Mr. van der Vaart holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he also studied finance at Yale School of Management. Mr. van der Vaart’s other academic achievements include a B.A. in Politics and Economics and an M.Phil in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar.
Mr. van der Vaart co-authored “Defining SMEs: A Less Imperfect Way of Defining Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries” in Brookings Global Economy and Development, September 2008.
A Dutch national and dual citizen of the Netherlands and the United States, Mr. van der Vaart speaks Dutch, English, German, French, and some Polish.