Bert van der Vaart – Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF)

SOCAP Global July 28, 2009

Bert van der Vaart is one of the two co-founders of SEAF in 1989, when it was known as the CARE Small Business Assistance Corporation (CARESBAC). Mr. van der Vaart negotiated the establishment of CARESBAC/SEAF’s first fund in Poland in 1992. He joined SEAF on a full time basis in 1994 as Director-General of that fund. While serving as Director-General of CARESBAC-Polska from August 1994 until May 1997, the company completed 27 investments and realized its first 6 exits. In 1997, Mr. van der Vaart became SEAF’s CEO and President, where he has been involved with the establishment and supervision of each of SEAF’s 19 funds globally, including in Sichuan, China, Vietnam, India, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Georgia, Peru, Colombia, and virtually every country in Central and Eastern Europe. He sits on every SEAF fund’s Investment Committee, and has been involved in managing each exit achieved by SEAF. As of June 30, 2008, SEAF had more than USD 450 million under management from a wide range of international financial institutions, socially responsible investors, local pension funds, insurance companies, and foundations. Mr. van der Vaart also played a founding role in SEAF India and the India Growth Fund, on which Investment Committee he has taken an active part since its commencement. Mr. van der Vaart also sits on the Advisory Board of the Kotak India Focus Fund.

From 1997 through February 2008, Mr. van der Vaart has served as President and Chief Executive Officer, and was largely responsible for building up what is SEAF’s network of local offices. SEAF has made more than 270 investments and invested more than USD 300 million. It has made more than 150 exits from these SMEs. From March 1, 2008, Mr. van der Vaart has served as Chairman of SEAF. He also acts as a principal for Discovery Global Citizens Fund, a global investment fund based in Connecticut with whom SEAF has a relationship.

From 1984 through 1994, Mr. van der Vaart was a Partner and Associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C, Brussels and Belgium, where he specialized in corporate law, primarily with respect to corporate financings and mergers and acquisitions. From 1983 through 1984, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company in London and Munich. Mr. van der Vaart has practiced law in Washington, Brussels, Paris, New York, and Frankfurt. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he also studied Finance at Yale School of Management; a B.A. in Politics and Economics and a 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. A Dutch national and dual citizen of the Netherlands and the United States, he speaks Dutch, English, German, French, and some Polish and Russian.

Join the SOCAP Newsletter!